Could radio signals or mobile phone masts confuse bees?

06 June 2010

Question

Could radio signals or mobile phone masts be confusing bees, contributing to colony collapse disorder?

Answer

We posed this question to James Nieh from the University of California at San Diego...

James - There was an original study in India that created these questions and interest, and what they did is they actually put a radio cell phone transmitter inside the hive, but it really wasn't done with very many colonies and the results were ambiguous. They were not statistically significant. I actually have looked at this paper. In addition, the authors have said that their results were too broadly interpreted. So I would say, the answer is that there really is no scientific evidence that cell phone towers or other types of electromagnetic radiation from communications devices harm bees. In addition, there are many areas that are afflicted by colony collapse disorder that do not have cell phone towers that are nearby. So it's not thought to be a good link.

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