Official: phones sting bees
Set them to buzz
Britain's honeybee population is in decline and some scientists now believe the blame lies with mobile phones.
Bee expert Dr Daniel Favre was able to monitor the effects of mobile phone radiation on bees by placing his handset under a hive. When the phone was making and receiving calls, the bees responded with high pitched "worker piping" - a sign they are about to swarm. Within minutes of the call ending, the bees had calmed down again.
Humans, when woken at 7am by roadworks right outside their home, will probably act in a similar manner. Perhaps bees are just more impatient with their disturbances.
Previous experiments have shown that bees alter their behaviour after even the tiniest of changes in the local geomagnetic field intensity. When a mobile phone is kept near a beehive, the colony collapses within five to ten days, leaving just queens, eggs and hive-bound immature bees.
The phenomenon apparently accounts for 43 per cent of all bee losses, with overwintering (39 per cent) and mite disease (15 per cent) some of the other perceived causes. Pesticides, which have long been considered a major catalyst in bee decline, only account for three per cent of loss.
Download the full report here: Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping. ®
the scientific method
"4/ Kick off several other studies to try and disprove the claim"
When you do this, you're following the scientific method. That's what you do experiments for - you're trying to disprove a claim.
If phones really did affect bees, we'd be hearing about large colony losses in metropolitan areas. As it is London beekeepers, for example, do very well and are thriving. Explain that!
But you'll remember there was no discernable activity when the phones were on stanby mode. If mobile towers were the problem then you would expect the presence of the phones to have no additional effect (apart from potentially increasing the level of upset in the hive). You would also expect the hives to be in a continuous state of upheaval not just 30mins after the initiation of a transmission.
The journal article doesnt mention the distance to mobile towers so i cant comment there, but i honestly cant imagine that this is a problem. Unless your hives are located directly within the region of a tower, where radio strength is constantly at the same level as that which is experienced during a phone call...