16 April 2007

Bees, please


Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees
By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross
Published: 15 April 2007

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."

The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".

No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks.

German research has long shown that bees' behaviour changes near power lines.

Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a "hint" to a possible cause.

Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: "I am convinced the possibility is real."

Oh. my. gob. What the hell is going on? Is it cellphone radiation? GM crops? A new pest? Chemicals/poisons in the ecosystem? Why now as opposed to decades ago? What is the link? This is very chilling. Just another in a very long list of things that are terminally wrong. Things that have been working fine for thousands of years and suddenly aren't working right anymore. Jeez.

Oh well, can't affect me, right? I mean, it only has repercussions on the food supply. I'm going to drive my Escalade down to the mall for some 'free-form' shopping. Helps me calm my nerves.

Further on in the report:


The case against handsets

Evidence of dangers to people from mobile phones is increasing. But proof is still lacking, largely because many of the biggest perils, such as cancer, take decades to show up.

Most research on cancer has so far proved inconclusive. But an official Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side as they held the handset.

Equally alarming, blue-chip Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today's teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives.

Studies in India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones heavily have reduced sperm counts. And, more prosaically, doctors have identified the condition of "text thumb", a form of RSI from constant texting.

Professor Sir William Stewart, who has headed two official inquiries, warned that children under eight should not use mobiles and made a series of safety recommendations, largely ignored by ministers.

Are we all freaking going nuts? We're all going to end up senile or riddled with cancer when we get older because we believed the scientists who developed all this technology for the corporations that sold it to us! I don't know who or what to believe anymore. I'm forced to have a cell phone on me for work, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if some definitive results came in on these theories. And my brain and testes would probably be thankful too.

4 comments:

Jeff Skybar said...

OMG Reid! Does this mean that I won't have honey to marinate my ribs in anymore? Do I need to go to Costco and load up on a palette of Honey to last me generations?

The more I read that goes on, the more I want to fly away to that North Pacific Gyre Island and immerse myself in tranquility.

BTW I saw the new Chrysler SUV today at lunch. It's big and had a HEMI....turbo.

Reid Dalgleish said...

I'd be more worried about the plants we eat that require pollination to survive than I would about honey. Mmmm....honey.....

Ahhh...unintended consequences of technology galore. It's just a matter of time until some new awesome technology goes too far and fucks everything up royally, terminally. Remember CFCs? The best thing since sliced bread. Oh wait a minute, they destroy the ozone layer. That's only the beginning.

Why are all the bees not coming home? WHY?

Reid Dalgleish said...

Why does my brain hurt? From the tumour from my Bluetooth headset or from my overshopping repetitive stress injury?

Reid Dalgleish said...

CONSPIRACY THEORY WARNING:

While we are lectured by government to change our lifestyle and cough up more taxes for the supposed peril of man-made global warming, an environmental catastrophe that could eliminate the human race in the figurative blink of an eye is looming.

Why are major environmental groups and lobbyists ignoring this mammoth threat to our very existence? Where is Greenpeace?

The hyperbole surrounding man-made global warming is swallowing up all the attention while real dangers like the rapid die-off of bee populations and its link to GM food is largely shunned by
governments and activist foundations.

Is it a stretch to hypothesize that government mandated spraying of crops with deadly chemicals as well as toxic substances contained in chemtrails could be part of a deliberate program to eliminate
the bee population? Or is this just another example of big
business flagrantly abusing the eco-system in order to drive up
profits?

The elite have publicly stated their desire to significantly reduce world population on numerous occasions. Just yesterday we featured a story about a British Government Ministry of
Defence report that postulated on the future use of bio-weapons
to thin the human population in under 30 years.

Making bees all but extinct would be a swift and plausibly deniable method of enacting global population reduction long dreamed of by the maniacal sociopaths that control the world.

Either way, this issue represents an overwhelming threat to the food chain and an environmental crime of the highest order, for which the perpetrators need to be brought up on charges of accessories to genocide, should a deliberate effort to endanger the food chain be proven, and the chemicals responsible immediately banned.