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Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the can-you-hear-me-now-wait-where-am-i dept.

Earth 542

krou passes along word from Telegraph.co.uk that researchers from Chandigarh's Punjab University claim that they have proven mobile phones could explain Colony Collapse Disorder. "They set up a controlled experiment in Punjab earlier this year comparing the behavior and productivity of bees in two hives — one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two 15-minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed. After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phone, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey. The queen bee in the 'mobile' hive produced fewer than half of those created by her counterpart in the normal hive. They also found a dramatic decline in the number of worker bees returning to the hive after collecting pollen." We've talked about the honeybee problem before. Today's article quotes a British bee specialist who dismisses talk of cellphone radiation having anything to do with the problem.

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Independent studies warranted (4, Funny)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412520)

Before I BEE-lieve it

Re:Independent studies warranted (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412538)

I agree. One study involving 2 hives does not conclusively prove causality.

Re:Independent studies warranted (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412590)

One study involving two hives doesn't even prove correlation, as it could be just random chance, as one hive will always do better than another hive. It is interesting and maybe worth doing some real studies.

But are we going to all give up our cell phones if it turns out that they cause problems with bees?

Re:Independent studies warranted (5, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412892)

I got three words for you: inverse square law.

If it takes putting a phone into the hive, then we're not really testing the effects of cellphones(as they are used IRL) on bees anymore.

Re:Independent studies warranted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413060)

Winner winner! Chicken (with honey) Dinner!

Re:Independent studies warranted (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412558)

Oh, BEE-have!

Re:Independent studies warranted (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412940)

We are BEEing haved.

Re:Independent studies warranted (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412592)

Four fields of bee hives, one with Faraday cages installed on each hive, one with nothing (control), one with cell phones on/in the box, and another with the phone 2m away. That'd generate the kind of data we're actually looking for wouldn't it?

Re:Independent studies warranted (2, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412822)

Four fields of bee hives, one with Faraday cages installed on each hive, one with nothing (control), one with cell phones on/in the box, and another with the phone 2m away. That'd generate the kind of data we're actually looking for wouldn't it?

If you set that up a hundred times, yes.

Individual hives can fail for any number of basically unpredictable reasons.

Re:Independent studies warranted (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412954)

Individual hives can fail for any number of basically unpredictable reasons.

Which is probably why he wrote "[f]our fields of bee hives," dontcha think?

Don't ask don't tell (4, Funny)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413032)

That'd generate the kind of data we're actually looking for wouldn't it?

Definitely not! I like my phone and mobile devices, so any empirical evidence which inconveniences me would have to be rationalised away in any case. I'm pretty confident the study would turn up nothing at all. It's almost axiomatic that what's good for me is good for the world. The research money would better be spent increasing coverage by erecting more transmission towers and the like.

And yeah, Honey is bad for your health.

Re:Independent studies warranted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412800)

What do you call tons of finger pointing at all kinda of things with conclusive evidence rarely presented?

BEE-S!

Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412522)

They only had 2 hives in their experiment?

Re:Wait, what? (4, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412546)

Not only that, but they put the phones in the hives. I can see how that would be quite disruptive to the little critters; generally we don't go to a beehive to call people on our cell phones. Surely the likelihood of a proximity effect renders this study kind of useless?

Not only that, but they also left them... (4, Funny)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412802)

... on the loudest setting AND vibrate mode! :)

Just kidding,

Paul B.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412862)

There's also the whole "inverse square law" thing. Power drops off with the square of distance. So if something is outputting 3 watts right at the transmitter, you are not receiving 3 watts when you are 100 feet away. Even if the energy from mobile devices is what has an impact, you need to test it in the levels yo actually see in the real world. As an example: My phone currently shows 4 bars, which is the max for the model (Curve 8330). When I ask it how powerful the signal it is getting, it says -80dBm. That is 10 picowatts, or 0.00000000001 watts. The maximum output for a class 1 mobile phone is 33dBm, which is 2 watts. I should note this is a strong signal. The phone works fine with signals less than -90dBm.

So, when you are talking about being right next to the transmitter, as opposed to a normal distance away, you are talking many MANY orders of magnitude of signal difference. The signal of cell towers is extremely weak at the average location in the city (and weaker still in the country). They work with low signal strength and low SNR. That's the reason they work with low power devices.

Even if the physical presence of the phone doesn't fuck with the results, the power very well could. If they want to test this properly it would require multiple hives, and transmitters that bathed the area in the kind of energy you'd see from the actual network.

Re:Wait, what? (2, Interesting)

cain (14472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412884)

Not really. Both hives had phones in them. In one of the hives, the phones were powered on for two, 15 minutes periods per day. In the hive with the active phone, the bees stopped producing honey and there was a "dramatic" decline in the bee population for that hive. That seems like something, not nothing and seems like it'd be worth further study. This is the first step. If nothing had happened, they could dicard the thesis, but something did happen. Maybe the next step is hive near cell towers and hives not near cell towers.

Re:Wait, what? - The next step (2, Informative)

MrTrick (673182) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413014)

The next step is to run more tests with more hives, and more test groups (with - as suggested elsewhere in the discussion - graduated exposure levels)
Not to run around like a headless chook claiming the preliminary test actually means anything.

1. Do limited unscientific test.
2. Profit!
3. ???

Temperature Alone could be the problem. (4, Interesting)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412924)

How much additional heat would the 15-minute per day cell phone sessions plus the phone being in "Stand-By" 24/7 produce in the hive? My guess is it might increase the temperature a couple of degrees.

Re:Wait, what? (4, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412972)

You both are wrong:
1. they actually used 4 hives
2. the control group had phone dummies installed. So the "proximity effect" was controlled.

It is unfortunate to see that the paper -- http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/25may2010/1376.pdf [ias.ac.in] -- does not include a statistical test to evaluate that the results are due to chance, but it seems significant ... anyone care to do a ANOVA?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

shawnap (959909) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413038)

It is unfortunate to see that the paper -- http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/25may2010/1376.pdf [ias.ac.in] -- does not include a statistical test to evaluate that the results are due to chance, but it seems significant ... anyone care to do a ANOVA?

On what? The numbers '9' and '5'?
Umm....they're different.

Don't waste your time thinking about this paper; it's garbage.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412974)

have to agree. I would assume the bees were annoyed by trace vibrations, the lights, the extra heat . . .

There really is no mechanism here. Cell Phone radiation is the wrong wavelength to do much of anything.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412984)

The ring tone was "Flight of the Bumble Bee." It drives them BEE bats.

No no. (3, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412566)

There were millions of bees. The results are highly significant.

Clearly we are seeing a great contribution to science.

 

Re:No no. (0, Redundant)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412668)

Millions of bees, but all daughters of one of two queens.

Re:No no. (4, Funny)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412762)

I say we ban cell phones from bee-hives immediately - let them use old fashioned land lines instead

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412570)

That was the first thing I thought too, Hardly "proof" as they claim is it?

Re:Wait, what? (3, Funny)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412586)

Exactly, maybe one queen had poor leadership.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412938)

Or maybe she was secretly gay? Damn gays, ruining the sanctity of bee marriage with their... gay rays.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412662)

Yes. A serious problem with the experiment. Sure, it's an interesting result from 2 hives, but that's a pathetic number from which to draw any conclusions. All it shows is there may be justification for doing a similar experiment with a much larger number. Like, say, 50 or 100. Then the results will start to be meaningful. But I'll lay odds that at that point there won't be any statistically significant difference.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412792)

To make the extrapolation [xkcd.com] far more interesting perhaps?

Sloppy, sloppy work (1)

shawnap (959909) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413000)

They only had 2 hives in their experiment?

No, they had four. Two treatment (T1 and T2), one placebo (B, a dummy phone), one control (C). You wouldn't know it though, the data sheet in the paper shows only two columns, one titled control and one titled treatment. No mention of the placebo, no indication that there are two treatment groups, no test statistic (or it's power) is reported, no model is ever described.

(Direct link to paper: http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/25may2010/1376.pdf [ias.ac.in] )

HEHE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412524)

FIRST!

Easy to fix (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412526)

Tell the damn queen to stop texting and get back to work.

Sample size (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412534)

It sounds like a very possible cause thing to investigate, but it would have been nice if there were more than just two hives involved in the experiment. I hope a follow-on experiment is done with more hives.

It will be very interesting if cell phones and bees come into conflict. Considering all the jack-assery that I've seen associated with cell phones, there's a part of me that would love to see then banned.

Re:Sample size (1)

Hikaru79 (832891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412562)

I think it's so cute that you think that -- even if cell phones were proven beyond any reasonable doubt to be singlehandedly responsible for killing bees and twenty other varieties of non-cute animals -- they would ever be "banned" for that reason. Seriously, you're adorable :)

Re:Sample size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412580)

Just for that, I'm going to shoot a puppy.

Re:Sample size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412588)

Bees are one of the most, if not the most, important animals on this planet. They pollinate almost every plant.

Re:Sample size (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412738)

Yes, all of that is true.

But when have we ever let things like that trump small technological conveniences?

Re:Sample size (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412906)

I'd shoot a puppy if I could get the next generation of iPads right now.

Re:Sample size (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412952)

We all would. That is why Earth is doomed.

Re:Sample size (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412710)

Considering all the jack-assery that I've seen associated with cell phones, there's a part of me that would love to see then banned.

I'm posting as AC because I already modded in this thread. I'm also feeling cranky because I have to go to work tomorrow so I'll take this to the ridiculous extreme.

I see comments like this from time to time and I'm not going to jump on DOD but instead depersonalize it. Whenever someone makes a comment about cell phones being banned, I would ask them to lead by example. Get rid of their phone and ask everyone you're with to turn theirs off or leave them at home (wife/husband/sig other/kids/parents/friends/whatever). I don't miss the days of staying home while on-call or using a two way pager and then having to find a phone. I laugh at the "old" movies where the chase is on but they stop to make a call to get backup or alert the victim to their impending doom. Or the cliche of waving down a passing car on a dark rainy to get assistance with (insert what you can't fix here). Or the time I walked to a farmhouse and instead of Frank N. Furter doing the Time Warp I was met by a pack of dogs. And the other things... GPS/maps/Internet/email/etc. I could go on but I'm not that clever. You get the idea. I'm not willing to give all that up because someone on the bus thinks they are important and they want me to think that too.

Oh, and for all the vaccine haters out there, I also don't miss polio.

two hives (5, Insightful)

mkavanagh2 (776662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412536)

that's a sample size that even andrew wakefield would have considered ridiculous

Re:two hives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412572)

Four actually, but yeah. Paper. [ias.ac.in]

Re:two hives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412988)

Two actually, but yeah.

It would be nice if you would actually read that (crappy) paper you linked to about that (crappy) study.

2 hives

4 phones (2 per hive)

Re:two hives (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412634)

Probably why it was published in a non peer-reviewed journal. Zero chance it would pass peer review.

This is actually a very serieus problem. (4, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412542)

The grandparent from ms. Santax is a bee-keeper. He told me about the many losses of complete hyves in recent years, not only at his place, but with the 'competition' also. If this is truly the reason or of an influence of this magnitude as suggested by the article, then we really really really need to shut down those GSM-freqencies and fix it or find a better alternative. Cause else there won't be anybody left to call in about 40 years.

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (2, Informative)

Compholio (770966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412576)

The grandparent from ms. Santax is a bee-keeper. He told me about the many losses of complete hyves in recent years, not only at his place, but with the 'competition' also. If this is truly the reason or of an influence of this magnitude as suggested by the article, then we really really really need to shut down those GSM-freqencies and fix it or find a better alternative. Cause else there won't be anybody left to call in about 40 years.

I haven't raised bees in a while, but I remember "mites" being the really big problem affecting most hives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroa_destructor [wikipedia.org] )

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (2, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412604)

Yeah mites and parasites are both causes that they at least 'suspect' to be also responsible. I am in no way saying: oh look we found it. I'm just saying that this is at least very interesting and imho should be researched again. With bigger and more populations. It really could prove to be an important factor... or not.

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412636)

If it were mites, it would be detected easily. However, mites can't explain the strange disappearance of bees.

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412654)

maybe people from the future are abducting the bees?

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (2, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413054)

We have ways of making them explain.

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412936)

That's not a very interesting cause. If not cell phones, then it should be some other ill of modern society.

I blame Facebook.

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412976)

I haven't raised bees in a while, but I remember "mites" being the really big problem affecting most hives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroa_destructor [wikipedia.org] )

And because mites are smaller, cell phone radiation must have an even greater effect on them. Therefore, cell phones kill mites at a greater rate than bees, therefore cell phones save bees!!

Save the bees! Build more cell towers!

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412672)

you should offer to build a faraday cage around his hives, and see how he does compared to the competition.

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412870)

It seems to me if "electro-smog" was the problem, the problem would be seen decreasing with increasing range of cell towers. In my neck of the woods I can literally ride my bicycle out of cell phone range, so it shouldn't be too hard to find apiarists in low EMF locations to compare with apiarists in high EMF areas for comparison.

Re:This is actually a very serieus problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413024)

Although I don't personally believe cell phone radiation is a danger to bees any more than it is to humans, the effects of any possible EM radiation should be mitigated by the fact that as we move to 3G (WCDMA) and 4G (OFDM), the energy is distributed across a wide frequency band and therefore energy per frequency band decreases ever more until it is really no more energetic than background radiation already is.

For example, 3G won't cause your badly shielded speakers to do the tat tat tah tah taaa tat tat tat taah sounds when connecting a call like GSM does. Furthermore, the switchover to 3G is going to be quite fast because GSM is already getting old and carriers in Finland are talking about shutting down GSM networks starting in 2015. If GSM radiation is harmful (which I seriously doubt), it won't matter anyway in a couple of years.

Soo (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412550)

So how do they know mobile hive didn't catch something that had nothing to do with a freaking cell phone, like bee stds or something.

Inverse-square law of radiation says no (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412574)

I'm sorry, but if you have to place the cell phone right in the hive there's no way a hive more than five feet away from a cell phone 24x7 is going to be impacted by this.

Perhaps the bees just got really into texting to the exclusion of pollen gathering.

Re:Inverse-square law of radiation says no (4, Funny)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412682)

I can see it now, they kept trying to text the other hive and when they didn't get a response, the first hive realized that they weren't BFF and got depressed and stopped collecting pollen, making honey and doing the nasty with the queen...

Sheldon

CCD Overblown (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412584)

Waitaminute... I thought I read in Scientific American or somesuch that the recent CCD scare was actually just a surge in reporting in the media, not an actual dramatic increase in rates. Furthermore, most of the real cases were attributed to more mundane causes pesticides or the stress of a colony being moved...

Someone back this poor AC up with a link.

should have used Googles Android (4, Funny)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412648)

then the bees could have used the gps and google maps

Re:should have used Googles Android (4, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412826)

But then they would all be smashed on somebody's windshield..

Disregarding poor methodology... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412660)

Bees do find their way back to the hive by observing polarized light from the sun's rays scattering in the atmosphere, the frequencies involved are far, far different than the ~1GHz used in cell phone bands.

Re:Disregarding poor methodology... (2, Interesting)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412676)

So a more likely cause would be pollution?

Re:Disregarding poor methodology... (1)

vsage3 (718267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412888)

(I was the GP) More likely than cell phones, definitely. Pollution causes less incident light to be polarized, and therefore makes it harder for bees to use it for travel. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarized_light_pollution [wikipedia.org]

This crap gives science a bad reputation (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412692)

I mean, seriously.

And the bloody media come up with crap like "Mobile phones responsible for disappearance of honey bee" based on it.

"Study says", "scientists say". It's tealeaf reading. Crystal ball gazing. Science is nothing more than a marketing term to convince people to buy whatever they're selling.

We need a term to describe things which appear to be science but in fact which are not.

 

Re:This crap gives science a bad reputation (1)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412782)

We need a term to describe things which appear to be science but in fact which are not.

It's called FUD.

Re:This crap gives science a bad reputation (5, Informative)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412824)

We need a term to describe things which appear to be science but in fact which are not.

Um... pseudoscience?

Re:This crap gives science a bad reputation (1, Troll)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412846)

We have some. Quackery, Snake Oil, religion, etc.

Re:This crap gives science a bad reputation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412878)

religion?

Re:This crap gives science a bad reputation (1)

rodarson2k (1122767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412966)

Science is nothing more than a marketing term to convince people to buy whatever they're selling.

The scientists just wanted to see if there was any merit in studying the effect of cellphones on bees. They chose an experiment which would disprove the hypothesis: "cell phones have no effect on bees". They succeeded. (as well as they can with n=2, at least) They now have reasons to continue investigations, with more hives, multiple levels of radiation, different distances, etc etc.

The person who wrote the article, on the other hand, is trying to sensationalize, overreach, and overconclude. The scientists just want more studies, the journalist just wants to convince people that the status quo is wrong.

Science is not to blame. Science journalism is to blame.

Re:This crap gives science a bad reputation (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413040)

We need a term to describe things which appear to be science but in fact which are not.

I vote "Scientology".

Re:This crap gives science a bad reputation (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413070)

We need a term to describe things which appear to be science but in fact which are not.

They saw a problem, came up with an hypothesis, designed an experiment to test it -- sounds like science to me. You can blow holes in their experimental design easily enough, especially since not many beehives are equipped with a pair of phones (I believe bees communicate through some sort of dance, if some vague memory of an old tv documentary is correct), but the worst you can call it is bad science.

I suppose you could say that bad science gives science a bad reputation, but I'm pretty sure the philosophy and the method will survive it. If you're concerned about science as a belief system, well, I'm not a believer so will refrain from comment.

Re:This crap gives science a bad reputation (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413078)

Quote from the article that should have been in bold at the top:

"Previous work in this area has indicated this [mobile phone use] is not a real factor," he said. "If new data comes along we will look at it."

He said: "At the moment we think is more likely to be a combination of factors including disease, pesticides and habitat loss."

On a more serious note, however,

It is time to bring back the guillotine.

perhaps the article's author Dean Nelson is a candidate?

It doesn't explain losses at remote apiaries... (5, Interesting)

puppetman (131489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412702)

I was talking to a fellow beekeeper on Quadra Island [wikipedia.org] , which is in a very rural part of the province, with a population of about 2000 people. This beekeeper lost 470 hives out of 500 this year.

There aren't many people, and cellphone service is poor... I doubt there are many phones there.

I'm skeptical until a lot more research is done.

Re:It doesn't explain losses at remote apiaries... (4, Informative)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412786)

I just came back from a stay at a bed & breakfast in rural Virginia, where the innkeeper's husband also happens to keep 10 hives of bees on the property - very poor cellphone service in the whole area, 1 bar of EDGE reception, if even that much. He lost 8 of the 10 hives to apparent Colony Collapse a few years ago, but completely back to normal now.

ROFL - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412718)

Hey guys! I put a radiation source directly adjacent to a beehive! The bees got sick! MICROWAVES BOOBOO BAD!

Fucking. Idiots. And you know what else? The greens, hypochondriac 'electrosensitives', and the tabloid media will eat this garbage up when all that it proves is that DIRECTLY IRRADIATING A BEEHIVE is a bad idea.

A better experiment that wouldn't have been a fearmongering, attention-whoring, complete and utter waste of fucking time would have been to place hives in the vicinity of large static radio and microwave radiation sources and then measure their behavior, and at different ranges. But no, that would be actual worthwhile science, which is something that pants-wetting Luddites can't do.

By the way, bees do have a sensitivity to magnetism, which can completely explain why placing radio antennae in the hive would cause unusual behavior. I want to know what objects in the environment can cause the same behavior and at what distances. My guess is that outside of utility transformers and high tension lines, the number of potential 'culprits' is going to be pretty close to zero with hives that are more than twenty-five to fifty feet away. You know what else is awesome? Actually taking care of your fucking bees is a great way to put a stop to CCD. This is an agricultural problem, not a radiological one, and the solution will probably be found through studies of insect nutrition, not half-baked, half-assed experiments with cellphones practically AIMED at the tinfoil hat crowd.

bee hives don't seem to mind GPS devices... (1)

Jadware (1081293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412720)

The very last words of the article: "There has been an increase in the number of thefts of hives across the world and in Germany beekeepers have started fitting GPS tracking devices to their hives." Obviously the bee hives seem to work out even when outfitted with GPS transponders, which would be useless without a cellular or other transmitter. Unless they use carrier pigeons to transport the gps position back to the original owners. That could explain the lack of bees, with them all getting scared away by said pigeons.

No effect on bees (2, Insightful)

jonfr (888673) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412742)

GSM and 3G signals should not have any effect of bees. As the waves are too big to have any effect of them. Wavelength of 900Mhz (and 850Mhz) is about 30 cm. It is slightly less at 1800Mhz and 1900Mhz.

In fact, the waves are bigger then bee in size in most cases.

This study needs to repeated few more times before any results can come from it.

Re:No effect on bees (3, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412788)

Don't know about you mate, but if Discovery thought me one thing it is that it is preferable to get hit by a small wave instead of a big one. Don't you guys watch Deadliest Catch?

Re:No effect on bees (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412828)

This study needs to repeated few more times before any results can come from it.

That's probably why they only used two hives. Gotta make a living, you know!

Bluetooth! Wait - no! (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412796)

I was going to suggest little teeny tiny earpieces for the bees, but then I got to thinking - isn't Bluetooth radio waves too? Will nothing save the bees and us from this onslaught of radiation!

I don't believe this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412810)

So these guys are making claims based on a sample size of 1.

Re:I don't believe this (1)

fluch (126140) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413018)

Yeah! I just thought the same!

How big is the chance that the oposite observation would have been the case?!

Similarly: I just made an controled experiment using a coin. Me and my 1 year younger friend got each a coin and threw it up. We agreed that head would win. He got tail, me head. So now we know, older people win when playing Head or Tails.

Still wonder to which news site to post this...

I know what really happened (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412872)

Poof!
Youtube already has it down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m5vt07W2n4 [youtube.com]

Re:I know what really happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413044)

They'd all have to be poofs. It'd only a single straight bee to keep the queen 'happy'.

Why is slashdot accepting stories from Telegraph?? (2, Insightful)

notommy (1793412) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412874)

Have you no standard? It's a retarded newspaper that prints nothing but idiocy.

Christ! What's next on slashdot? Healthy eating research article from Burger King's site? That only features stuff from their menu?

Re:Why is slashdot accepting stories from Telegrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412898)

Legitimate news sources:
- Huffington Post
- The Guardian
- MSNBC

any more to add to the list?

Obligitory Doctor Reference... (1)

Admiral Justin (628358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412880)

Maybe they're just going back home to Melissa Majoria.

Maybe they just didn't like the ringtones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412886)

Or maybe the phones were set to vibrate which stressed out the hive.

Were the dummy phones close enough in operation to be meaningful? (e.g. they both caused the same amount of thermal and physical disturbance to each hive during phone switch on, charging, etc.)

I'm betting physical disruptions and induced heat is what really stressed the hive.

Paradigm Shifting Bees (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412894)

“Worker bees can leave.
Even drones can fly away.
The Queen is their slave.”
    -Chuck Palahniuk

Don't know about bees, but certainly this shows... (0, Troll)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412928)

I tend to think that CCD is a combination of several accumulated stress vectors, including pesticides and ticks and the fact that many bees are trucked around the countryside.

But this does show that cell phones can disrupt living systems. That cell phone radiation can disrupt cellular activity is well established (well, among those anyway, who aren't living in denial due to reality being hard to live with re their cell phone usage. "It can't be true, because if it is then I would be both inconvenienced and wrong, and neither condition is acceptable, so I will argue until I am blue in the face!") A profound truth is that many people stop developing mentally by around the age of about ten.

Here's a study which details a fair bit of what was known a few years ago. . .

http://www.scribd.com/doc/12893533/The-Ecolog-Study

Also, Robert O. Becker's book, Cross Currents [amazon.com] is a good collection and summary of what is known about the subject. You can pick up a used copy on Amazon for about four dollars plus postage.

-FL

Re:Don't know about bees, but certainly this shows (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413012)

"But this does show that cell phones can disrupt living systems"? No, it fucking doesn't, you scientifically illiterate cunt. This shows absolutely nothing. But keep adjusting that tinfoil hat.

Here is a link to the original article... (1)

darrenm (1632751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412964)

http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/25may2010/1376.pdf [ias.ac.in]

And as another poster mentioned, Current Science Online isn't peer reviewed, it's meant as a means of communication and is fairly open.

I like the conclusion of the article: "We are fortunate that the warning bells have been sounded and it is for us to timely plan strategies to save not only the bees but life from the ill effects of such EMR."

They are taking those Nokia GSM cellphones seriously! Set those phasers to stun...

http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/index.html [ias.ac.in]

Re:Here is a link to the original article... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412992)

seriously is that what they are claiming, that EMR is the devil?

it doesn't sound like they even tried to rule out other causes for the problems in the hive with the phone, they just assumed phone = death.

These must be the same Indian rocket scientists... (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412982)

... who verified that humans can, in fact, engage in photosynthesis [randi.org] .

As a Beekeeper... (5, Informative)

xquercus (801916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413002)

I say this is simply ridiculous. It's not uncommon at all for a beekeeper to lose half of his hives in a season due to mites, foulbrood, starvation, genetics, poor management or any number of other known and unknown reasons. It's not uncommon for someone with two hives to lose one or both of them over a 3 month period -- the length of this study. The comparison of two queens is bogus too. The variability in quality (genetics) between two queens from even the best breeders can be enormous. Having read many studies about honeybee management I can say beekeepers insist on much better science than this. Proper studies involve groups of hundreds of hives; control for genetics, disease, management practices; and occur over multiple seasons.

Proximity is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413006)

We previously belived there were no harmful effects from this type of radiation, so the study seems quite significant, assuming it can be repeated. Handsets have relatively weak signals compared with the base towers, so a handset up very close is perhaps comparable to a cell tower in the general vicinity. In any case, demand for more bandwidth will continually push up power levels, so any adverse effects are a concern, particularly given the relative importance of the honeybee in our ecosystem. If the science checks out, we will presumably see some limits on wireless transmissions in agricultural areas, or eventually starve.

Proof of Fallacy (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413026)

I used to work with Marty Cooper [wikipedia.org] and that guy is all about buzz.

There is no way he would hurt bees.
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