Friday, 13 May, 2011 Science

Cell Phones Responsible for the Death of Honeybees, Scientists Say


According to a new paper from Daniel Favre, a researcher from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, active use of cell phones is one of the main causes of the bee population drop.

It is worth mentioning that from 100 crops that provide 90 percent of the world's food, more than 70 percent are pollinated by bees and the UN states that over the past several years, beekeepers reported a dramatic decrease in the bee population.

The Swiss researcher says that phone signals may confuse honeybees to such a degree that they become disoriented until they drop dead.

Together with a group of other researchers Favre carried out 83 experiments in which scientists registered the reaction of honeybees to cell phones in 3 modes: standby, call-making and when the phone is off.

Researchers noticed that when they were making or receiving a call, the noise of honeybees increased 10 times. It would be interesting to note that usually the increase in honeybee noise represents a signal for the insects to leave their hives. However, during the experiment the noise simply confused the bees.

Other factors that also lead to the decrease in population of honeybees include pesticides that are often used to pre-treat corn seeds, air pollution and climate change. Thus we can say that modern society in general is responsible for the death of honeybees, reports FastCompany.

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