Why are Bees Dying? Your Cell Phone May Hold a Clue

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Dave Stobbe / Reuters / Corbis

Scientists couldn’t be more concerned with the stinging news that cellphone radiation could be the partial cause of the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), according to a new study from Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. (via CNN)

The researchers fitted cellphones to a hive and activated them for specific lengths of time. After three months of the experiment, honey production ceased, the queen laid half as many eggs, and the hive population dropped. Andrew Goldsworthy a British biologist told CNN that a pigment called cryptochrome, which the bees use for navigation and is compromised by cellphone radiation and affects the insects ability to find their hives. (Check out the radiation report cards of many popular cell phones.)

But he suggests the solution would be to change cellphone frequency so it wouldn’t harm the bees. “It’s possible to modify the signal coming from the [cell] phones and the base station in such a way that it doesn’t produce the frequencies that disturb the cryptochrome molecules,” Goldsworthy said.

But other scientists do not believe radio waves affect bees at all. “We know they are sensitive to magnetic fields. What we don’t know is what use they actually make of them,” said Norman Carreck, a scientist at the University of Sussex.