Feeds

Mobiles back in the frame as bee killers

Actual research this time, just not much of it

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Strapping a pair of mobile phones to the side of a bee hive can lead to a dramatic decline in honey and bee production, researchers have claimed.

Published in Current Science, the research (pdf) compared the performance of hives exposed to cell phones with those kept radio-free. According to the researchers the phone use led directly to a dramatic decline in the quantity of honey produced, and bees appeared "confused as if unable to decide what to do" during the calls.

The test involved putting a couple of handsets, operating at 900MHz, beside two hives, with another couple of hives as controls. The phones were then called for 15 minutes twice a day. During the calls a third of the bees which would have left the hive "became quiet and still or confused", while a third of those which did get out and back returned empty handed. But even the researchers involved admit that "such a response has ... not been reported previously".

The exposed hives also shrank from seven frames to five, while the control hives grew to nine over the same period. The controls also produced eight times as much honey due to having more bees hard at work.

But a couple of hives doesn't make for a quantitative study, and it's hard to take seriously research which uses terms like "eletrosmog" and references Dr Carlo of the Science and Public Policy Institute, who believes the mobile industry has been conspiring to besmirch Albert Einstein, among other things.

It's by no means certain that bee numbers are declining worldwide, or that the loss of the honey bee would result in a world famine - New Scientist published some interesting figures on the subject last year - but bees have a compelling film and we'd miss them if they were gone. The Telegraph quotes Tim Lovett of the British Beekeepers Association pointing out that bees survive in London, a city awash with electromagnetic radiation of all kinds.

Work like this is worth trying to replicate, but it's hard to imagine that previous studies would have missed such a radical change in behaviour. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.