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Are Mobile Phones Wiping Out Bees?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the oh-i-hope-this-isn't-a-late-april-fools-joke dept.

Communications 419

Mz6 wrote with a link to an article on The Independent site about a most unusual scientific theory. "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."

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New Bee Attack recommended guidelines? (5, Funny)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740073)

Does this mean the best way to cope with being 'attacked' by a bee, is to whip out your mobile make a ringing sound then pass it to the bee and say "Its for you"?

little tin hats (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740149)

Bees should wear those

Re:New Bee Attack recommended guidelines? (3, Funny)

fmobus (831767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740333)

Well being allergic to them, I really like the concept. Brb, buying another cellphone.

Re:New Bee Attack recommended guidelines? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740397)

According to my carefully made-up research, this all started around the same time as "An Inconvenient Truth" was released. So, indirectly, Global Warming is the cause of this.

Re:New Bee Attack recommended guidelines? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740737)

exactly - there is even a gsm provider in russia, called bee line.

Reasons to believe this is bogus (5, Interesting)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740763)

1) US and European phone systems operate on different frequencies
2) Europe has been using these frequencies far longer than in the US. Thus if there was any sort of "deployment pattern", it would start there.
3) Europe has higher cell use per capita and higher population density than the US. See (2)
4) Some of these frequencies have been heavily used in the past by high-channel UHF television stations with MUCH greater power (like 10,000 times). Ever wonder where channels above 70 went when cell phones started showing up? If it was something to do with these frequencies, all bees would have been gone back in the 70's.

and the most important one

5) these die-offs have been happening since people have been watching, long before there was any RF except for lightening

Maury

I can guess too (5, Funny)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740079)

Other reasons Bees are gone..
*Sunspots
*Global warming
*Terrorism
*CowboyNeal

Re:I can guess too (5, Funny)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740283)

No, it's definately mobile phones. But not the radio transmissions, it's that Crazy Frog ringtone.

Re:I can guess too (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740673)

And absolutely nothing to do with the fact that, in England anyway, it is currently hotter now, in mid April, than the normal maximum temperature in July, and that 2007 is shaping up to be by far the hottest year ever, much hotter than the current holder of the record, which was last year.

Re:I can guess too (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740479)

You forgot to mention daytime TV. I blame QVC for rotting their brains.

Or maybe that is housewives? No, No, its globule warming that is making housewives extinct. Its all so confusing, I need another coffee!

The bees aren't dying (5, Informative)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740501)

We had a good article [registerguard.com] in our local paper about the bee issue. It turns out they're just fine here (meaning there's the usual number of hive deaths).

In fact, some farmers say they are puzzled about the dire news stories appearing in local, state and national media in the past several weeks.

"It's not new this year," Williams said. "If you know what I mean."

Many beekeepers are skeptical of the reports or at least how they're adding up. For 100 years, beekeepers have logged periodic reports of sudden and inexplicable bee die-offs. People refer the latest die-off by its initials "CCD," but one Georgia beekeeper instead calls it the "SSDD" crisis for "Same Stuff, Different Day."


There have been a few good theories as to why they're dying off in certain places:

Most empty hives have been discovered at large, commercial migrating bee farms - and that has led some beekeepers to theorize that it's the stress of being trucked cross-country that's killing the bees.

"The (bee's) instinct is to go out and collect pollen and nectar, and that's what they do. When they can't get out of the hive, it puts them under stress. They need to go to the bathroom on a regular basis, but they won't go in their hive," said Ken Ograin, an Elmira beekeeper.

Some people blame the high-fructose corn syrup that beekeepers feed the bees in the large-scale operations.

"People think that's not the best thing to feed them. There's a lot of argument about that," Scher said.
At this point, bringing cell phones into the mix is just plain silly.

And Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740633)

Can't forget them!

Re:I can guess too (1)

john82 (68332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740719)

And from a previous [slashdot.org] Slashdot article we got:
  * Genetically Modified Organisms (plants AND animals)
  * Global Warming (with or without Red Mites)
  * Africanized ("Killer") Bees
  * Russian bees
  * Capitalism and free-market economics
  * Republicans subsidizing corn for votes

That should be enough topics to kick start some foil hat discussions.

Re:I can guess too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740745)

Damn cold winter weather. Mom has lost more then half her bees to the cold, long winter, (little bees corpses are still there just frozen to death) in California this year. Please for the sake of my mothers bees drive your SUV's more, hurry the remaining hives don't have much reserve honey left. I proposed that she truck the remaining hives to Albert Gore's palace, he keeps his uncovered outdoor swimming pool a comfortable 85 degrees all winter long. Should make a nice micro-climate zone for the bees to winter over.

Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (5, Informative)

stevedcc (1000313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740087)

I for one am extremely suspicious about claims that bees are being wiped out by mobile 'phones. Here's an example of why:

US = 301,505,000 people in 2,718,695 sq miles = 111 people per sq mile
UK = 60,609,153 people in 94,526 sq miles = 641 people per sq mile

So, why is it that the US is suffering this major disappearance of bees when the UK isn't? Seeing as the density of mobile phone signals is going to be FAR higher in the UK? Ok, i accept that mobile phones in the UK work on different frequencies, but from what I've heard, the same thing is happening in Poland and Spain [earthfiles.com] , which both have far lower population densities than the UK, and the same mobile phone frequencies. Of course, Poland and Spain import far more US Genetically Modified crops than the UK does.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (3, Interesting)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740119)

Perhaps its something to do with newer 3G technology on US and continental headsets?

Or maybe the government is using some sort of exotic systems to conduct mapping, drug interdiction or surveillance? Millimeter-wave radar can produce pictures of buildings, and operates on a frequency similar to cell phones.

In a few areas in the western US, there have been incidents when military aircraft electronic warfare systems have triggered widespread issues like garage doors opening and closing by themselves and TV signals being jammed.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (5, Funny)

stevedcc (1000313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740157)

The UK had 3G long before the US. But 3G mainly covers metropolitan areas. I believe bees are more rural and they don't currently benefit from 3G connections.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (5, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740199)

Perhaps it's simply more to do with pesticide use, or is that too obvious.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (4, Interesting)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740475)

Pesticides? One beekeper [sfgate.com] thinks it's genetic engineering of agricultural plants. I tend to agree. I say, let's just put the beaker and lazer tweezers away already. Let insects do what they do best - suckling off mother nature's teat, not father human's trampling feet.

Or is it GMO's? (2, Insightful)

bvdbos (724595) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740693)

Der Spiegel, a German newspaper, had an article in March [spiegel.de] where the phenomenon CCD [wikipedia.org] might have to do with GMO's:

According to Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, a professor at the University of Halle in eastern Germany and the director of the study, the bacterial toxin in the genetically modified corn may have "altered the surface of the bee's intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry -- or perhaps it was the other way around. We don't know."

babelfish translation of the article [altavista.com] or the original in German [biosicherheit.de]

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740227)

??? There's much better 3G coverage in the UK than the US.

Personally, I think it's much more likely that in the UK and the rest of europe, people frown on excessive pesticide use, and when it is delivered, it's often by carefully targetted ground-based spraying, whereas in the USA, they spray lots more nasty shit from planes.

Given it's bees, I think it could just be a virulent fungus or mites or virus that just hasn't jumped across to the UK yet.

Also, UK and Ireland in particular have a diverse population of pollinating bees that aren't honey-bees that mightn't be susceptible to whatever is hurting the other bees - the cold-adapted furry "bumble bee" exists in several subspecies. Irish ones rock - they grow as big as the last joint on your thumb, look like little furry flying teddy bears (don't try to cuddle them though. You can sometimes get away with stroking them, but they don't really like that either). Yes, there are creatures called "bumble bees" in the USA, they look like small-scale models of the ones you get in northern europe though, so I'd guess they're probably a different species.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740125)

Just playing Devil's Advocate here for a moment...

The US has several different cellphone frequencies. They refuse to share the same network with each other. This means overlapping coverage from multiple sets of cellphone towers. I think it could easily make up the difference in the sheer number of cellphones.

Poland and Spain still tend to refute this, but their cause may be something else entirely, or just imagined.

Heck, it could be something completely unrelated, like the poles of the earth getting ready to flip and throwing all the wildlife into chaos. I am -so- hoping that doesn't happen in my lifetime, and I'm hoping we invent anti-aging before I get senile. ;)

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1, Interesting)

tacocat (527354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740201)

Yeah, but...

There are only two frequency bands for cellular technology: analog & digital

Starting in February, 2008 the cellular industry is dropping analog in all but the smaller rural communities, if even that.

So by next year they'll all come back, right?

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740277)

There are only two frequency bands for cellular technology: analog & digital

That is wrong. What gave you that idea?

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740555)

There are only two frequency bands for cellular technology: analog & digital
That's so you can store it in a boolean and still have space left over for file-not-found.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (4, Insightful)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740183)

Add to that the seeming "spread" of this phenomenon. If this was a slow process in the US and Europe as cell phones increased, it would make more sense than some sort of more immediate collapse like we've seen. Maybe if they can show that adding new cell phone towers kills bees in the area, it would make sense. Until then, I'd guess it was some sort of virus/fungus/mite/parasite, or a chemical in a new (i.e. GM) crop.

Hopefully the strong bees will survive, and repollinate the earth.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (2, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740791)

Oh that's okay, we'll just genetically engineer honeybees so that they can handle the GM crops. When honey results in severe allergic reactions in humans, well, we have an answer for that as well - genetically engineer humans, resulting in a patent fee for every human conceived (whether or not carried to term), or better yet, since it would be more profitable, like soy and high-fructose corn syrup, get all the food manufacturers to use this highly-allergenic "food" ingredients in all "food" products and give the pharmaceutical companies a business opportunity to sell antidotes to the toxins in the GM honey. This way, everybody wins!

This has been my tongue-in-cheek crackpot theory of the day, brought to you by my frustration in trying to find soy-free foods.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

webview (49052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740197)

So, why is it that the US is suffering this major disappearance of bees when the UK isn't?

Ringtones. Blokes in the UK have ringtones that are bee-friendly.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

Wog (58146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740647)

Like the "Eric the half-bee" song?

La dee dee
One two three
Eric the half a bee!

Ho ho ho
Tee hee hee
Eric the half a bee!

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740259)

A cellphone is a Microwave radio transceiver
Mobile phones use a radio spectrum very close and inside the radio spectrum other Tranasmiters like Trunked radio systems and Business radios that operate at RF power levels 100, , 1000, 10,000 times that of cell phones ,
  No if this were true , THe bees would have been killed by other radio transmitters long before

lets get real people. Cellphones are a politicians and media Buzz word

A cell phone is a low power microwave transceiver
and other microwave tranceivers have long been in use at much higher power levels and the bees were still here

Why didn't much higher power. police, Fire, Business and taxicab radios kill them ?

Cellphones killing bees makes no sense
and many a Radio worker has been stung by bees and wasps on transmitter antennas so that blows that theory out of the water These are the cellphone towers Not ,milliwatts of RF but Hundrdes of watts of RF power with bee and swaps nests on them

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

cammoblammo (774120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740287)

Cellphones are a politicians and media Buzz word
What do bees use for Buzz words?

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740435)

Yes
  to science a cellphone it is a microwave radio transceiver , in the case of its purported. alleged harm to bees it is a microwave transmitter .

To the media, the political and consumers it's a cellphone!!

THe media and politicians wont say transmitters kills bees because the media uses very high power transmitters .

So you see it is a buzz word in that context
The medias transmitters must not kill bees , but the consumers transmitter can kill bees all OK

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740523)

A cellphone transmitter's average RF power is under 1 watt
while the Medias TV. FM broadcast transmitter measure in at hundreds of Kilowatts or megawatts of RF power
which one kills bees better ?
  or how about a taxicab or police / fire radio at 40 - 200 watts ?
how about that ?>

A measly 1/2 watt consumers cellphone transmitter kills the bees ?

I'm looking for reality here .
BTW the Frequencies used by the cops transmitter is often near the same band as cellphones

Did the cops mobile phone kill the bees ?
or was it those big bad broadcast transmitters ?
How about that taxicab dude ?
Why the hell would anyone blame a low power cellphone!
Does that make sense to anyone?

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740357)

Yes thats right,
It's far more likely that change in a farm animals diet that creates a new kind of fart gas killed the bes

What most people fail to realize is that cellphones are just another radio transmitter

Bees and transmitters lived together all along. Long before cellphones

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (2, Insightful)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740393)

lets get real people. Cellphones are a politicians and media Buzz word

That's right! Despite the fact that people in the Western world are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, those "bastard" mobiles are still perceived as a threat.

I'd think bees have killed far more people than mobile phones ever have.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740447)

That's right! Despite the fact that people in the Western world are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, those "bastard" mobiles are still perceived as a threat. I'd think bees have killed far more people than mobile phones ever have.
That as may be, it's only in the past ten or so years that mobile phones achieved real mass-market popularity; if the effects are long-term as expected, they're not likely to have shown up in significant numbers yet.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740603)

I haven't seen evidence of the longer and healthier lives - I have gained weight in the past ten years... wait a minute... damn cellphones are affecting me too!

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740263)

Another theory. Sunspots. [qj.net]

Though seems like this wouldn't be US centric either.

Any ideas?

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740355)

Ah, if you RTFA, you should know this: "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."

Sorta blows your theory out of the water, I think.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

stevedcc (1000313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740443)

Hmmm, not really.

Density of mobile 'phone signals is still a key point - if it begins to happen in an area of lower density, then spreads to others, it still seems unlikely that the mobile 'phone signals are the cause.

Also, as I stated, the US works on different frequencies. Plus, mobile 'phones have been growing gradually over a large number of years, and had already hit the level where networks are no longer targeting new customers, they're targeting people transferring providers. It seems odd that the bee population would suddenly collapse at this point, rather than years previously.

Finally, if mobile 'phone signals are the cause, how come species that normally take ANY excuse to invade an unguarded hive are leaving the abandoned ones alone?

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (2, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740491)

Ah, if you RTFA, you should know this: "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." Sorta blows your theory out of the water, I think.
No it doesn't. Mobile phones have been popular in Britain for a long time; if it really was just down to mobile phones in general, this wouldn't explain the sudden jump in numbers.

It might be suggested that more recent adoption of 3G technologies had something to do with this. However, AFAIK 3G penetration is greater in the UK than in the US, so if that were the cause we'd more likely be "ahead" of you with the bee problem, not behind.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740473)

Therefore, the US needs more people. If UK has a higher population density than the US, Poland and Spain, and the latter three are experiencing a loss of bees, then population density is the culprit. :-)

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (2, Interesting)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740549)

But UK bees are going missing too, just not in such large numbers yet, and the Government Bee Inspectors of the National Bee Unit are denying there is anything wrong. http://environment.guardian.co.uk/conservation/sto ry/0,,2055067,00.html [guardian.co.uk]

It's not JUST the US...its spreading (2, Informative)

arcite (661011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740599)

Clearly its in everyone's best interest to find the cause...and cure.

"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."

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740617)

So what you're saying is, Low human population density == fewer bees?

Right.

Now all we need to do is convince all the girls that having unprotected sex with random strangers will save the cute fluffy bumble-bees, and we're set. :)

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740707)

Also the UK has 61m mobiles v the US which has 219m. Genetically modified food pretty much doesn't exist in the UK. Nobody wants to buy it.

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

twenex27 (1004369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740725)

Isn't it obvious? Bees are moving to countries with better mobile phone infrastructures!

Re:Better Reasons Exist than Mobile 'Phones (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740795)

Dude, what are you smoking? That's average population density, a meaningless number. What matters is the local population density, which varies enormously over the US.

Bee guidance (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740093)

Presumably if we could work out exactly what EMR does to bees navigation capabilities then we could exploit this "feature" to send the bees exactly where we want them.

OTH can people who react strongly to bee stings now carry a device to ward them off?

Re:Bee guidance (1)

ethicalBob (1023525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740727)

Does this mean that I'll soon be able use an app to make the bees attack my nosy neighbors? Yeah!

Good! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740111)

I hate bees. If there's one thing I've always told everyone it's that I hate bees. I often have nightmares where I am Macaulay Culkin in the hit Hollywood moving picture My Girl and it terrifies me. There is no more horrifying a death than the dreaded DEATH BY BEES. Any Culkfans in Slashland will know what I'm talking about.

In spite of Culky's gruesome on-screen death, I tempt fate whenever possible and launch attacks on the hideous hives harbouring those horrible honeymakers. I do this because I understand you have to kill the head bee to kill the rest.

Up until recently I have been using a flashbomb followed by a strategically placed firecracker and a roman candle and a b.b. gun as I flee from the scene of my latest raid. After a few stings on the first couple of raids, I decided to pull the trigger and buy a bee keeper uniform. It also makes me feel like a superhero, which is what I am really.

Although I'm opposed to cell phones for moral and fear-related issues, this seriously makes me consider buying a cell phones for use in my future assaults.

Re:Good! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740365)

We all appreciate your effort to eradicate the bees and to keep the cellphone conglomerate's profits in check. Thanks for doing your part.

THE BEES! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740123)

Won't somebody please think of the bees?!

Re:THE BEES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740143)

Mod Parent Funny. LOL! LOL! LOL!

its not just bees ... (3, Insightful)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740145)

Bees are not the only insect that pollinates the plants. If one reads The Origin of Species [s5h.net] there are mentions of many different ways for plants to propagate. Bees are generally being pushed aside by the wasps, at least here in England. Many other creatures can spread pollen, along with wind itself.

The problem with plant propagation in the wild is there is a rough 500:1 chance if successful growth to maturity for the seedlings.

Re:its not just bees ... (5, Funny)

johansalk (818687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740513)

Gees. Another free market Darwinist; "bees are just not being competitive enough in the marketplace of pollination and are being pushed aside. So what if the bees are wiped out, the free market of nature will fill up the gap with many other providers of pollination services".

Re:its not just bees ... (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740565)

Gee... I mean we humans couldn't possibly take the initiative and solve the problem before it becomes a tragedy. ::rolls eyes::

Re:its not just bees ... (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740649)

Uh... the post to which you're replying didn't make a judgment about the fact that some plants can be pollinated by more than one type of insect; it just pointed it out. Your paraphrase-in-quotes puts words into his/her comment box that aren't there. It's almost certainly the case that if bees were to vanish, some pollination would get done by other species. As a lover of honey, I would deplore this and I don't think it's a Good Thing, but it's reasonable to point it out.

I don't think you get it (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740703)

Bees pollinate essential crops that keep whole countries fed. To think that wasps or some other species will make a quick substitute to stave off crop losses is incredibly naive.

What study? (4, Insightful)

gvc (167165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740151)

I'm not saying there's no such study, but the The Independent article gives no reference and I see no paper on Kuhn's CV [64.233.179.104] .

It looks like the sort of work he might do, but a one-sentence paraphrasal is scant information on which to base any comment.

Re:What study? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740309)

Well, in the CV, there's

- Einwirkung hochfrequenter elektromagnetischer Felder auf Bienenvölker - Eine theoretisch und empirisch ausgelegte Fallstudie"
- Elektrosmog - Einwirkungen elektromagnetischer Felder auf lebende Organismen"

Finally ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740163)

... a valid excuse why kids don't have to eat their vegetables. Because there aren't any!

Re:Finally ... (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740255)

... a valid excuse why kids don't have to eat their vegetables. Because there aren't any!
you do realise that if the vegetables/insects go, there will be no mammals?

Re:Finally ... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740315)

It might have been the funniest joke in the world, but it sure was one of the more obvious examples.

Re:Finally ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740411)

you do realise that if the vegetables/insects go, there will be no mammals?
The only mammals that will survive will be those running Linux (preferably 'MammaLinux' on a four core cardio-processing system).

Re:Finally ... (1)

DerWulf (782458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740439)

do explain! Such valuable and original insight must be shared.

Doesn't hold much water (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740187)

Cells are everywhere. We have 6 competing companies for a market of maybe 5 million people. Everyone here has at the very least one (Average is as far as I know about 2.something).

Still, no shortage in bees. Quite the opposite!

On the other hand, though, we don't have crops with altered genes...

Re:Doesn't hold much water (0)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740407)

On the other hand, though, we don't have crops with altered genes...


Gotta love how everyone wants to blame it on some sort of consequence of having "ungodly" genetically engineered plants. It couldn't possibly be the fact that making plants to specifically kill pests was just a bad idea in the first place. It was definitely the dirty altered genes!

Any sick bees in Japan last year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740221)

Unless this has something to do with the frequency, this sounds very unlikely to me. Mobile technology usually starts out in Japan, then moves to western Europe. The US are the pretty late adopting mobile technoly. Shouldn't this bee problem follow the same pattern? Anybody heard of problems with bees in Japan about one or two years ago?

I hope not... (1)

Zwets (645911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740231)

I hope not.. I love bees! [ilovebees.com] ;-)

Invader Zim (4, Funny)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740233)

Surely that was no human bee! Once I take care of the humans, I will start my war against....

THE BEEEES

Let's grow a vegeta-city! (0, Flamebait)

OminousZ (1088565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740253)

Who the f*ck uses a cellphone in the middle of a crop field?

Re:Let's grow a vegeta-city! (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740319)

Who the f*ck uses a cellphone in the middle of a crop field?
what really interests me is how the bees were taught to use the mobile phones!

Zonk - The wall-in-shithouse-journalist (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740267)

Go away, dude. Your kind of storytelling does add nothing to the world of news. You are the wheel that makes fart noises on the Slashdot wagon. We don't want to read the yellow press BS you believe is interesting.

We are too intelligent for your kind of "journalism". Stop insulting us. Please!

Scary movie 1000111110011111111 (1)

pfortuny (857713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740295)

So this is another try to take useful technology out
in the name of ... let me see.....

SCIENCE

What the heck?

Where are the statistics, the standard deviations, the
chi-squares... C'mon I am getting tired of people trying
to make me afraid.

Of course 30% of the species are also going to disappear.

Maybe global warming is due to cellphones as well.

Unbelievable as it is.

Defective by design.

I know the answer (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740339)

It's because they can't get decent 3G coverage, they're pissed off bees because they can't communicate effectively without mobile broadband. Unlike their Japanese bee friends, who have the next gen phones, along with Tamagotchi bee larvae which they have to feed virtual pollen.

Meanwhile, crickets totally have it sorted out, having traded regular cell phones for their newer kneephone. Ergonimically designed for the chic cricket who is out to look down on the average locust.

Good... (0, Redundant)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740387)

...i hate bees

New Theory (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740401)

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.


I put forth a new theory...

It's because of the ketchup bottles.
They were clear before, and you could *see* how much was left, but more importantly, how nasty the remaining amount looked like. When the inside of the bottle got so nasty, as to have the ShakeIt-Until-Even technique fail, the bottles would get tossed out.
These bottles would eventually find their way to dogs, which would eat all ketchup.
The nasty ketchup would give the dogs indigestion, and they would go take an acid shit near flowering plants.
The acid shit would put the soil pH precisely where it needs to be, so the plants create better tasting flowers for the bees.

With the new solid-color bottles, when we toss them out, they have too little ketchup amount in order for the dogs to get indigestion (ie, no shit).

The alternate idea I have has to do with the Titanic.
After all these years under the sea, finally, the women's make-up powder is reacting at those extreme pressures and depths. The resulting gases rise to the surface, and are carried by perfec harmonic frequencies to the US. These harmonics are created by the bees' perfect resonance buzz.
The bees find the gaseous make-up powder noxious, so, they're all chillin' down in South America where there isn't such a proliferation of boutiques.

Yet more ignorance to confuse the public (5, Informative)

dorpus (636554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740437)

Speaking as a PhD candidate in biostatistics, the article quotes thoroughly discredited theories of the effects of cell phones on humans. Unfortunately, the media routinely quotes the opinions of obviously fraudulent scientists, or quotes others out of context, to sell the "conspiracy theory" angle to the willing masses.

Medical misrepresentation in the media has a long history -- in the 18th century, when a British physician developed a smallpox vaccine based on cowpox, newspapers at the time described people turning into cows, causing a national panic. Mistrust of vaccines lingered for decades afterwards. In 1999, anti-vaccine hysteria again surfaced when an extremely poorly designed study managed to be published in Lancet, claiming that 80% of children with autism had received the MMR vaccine. (80% of British children received vaccinations in the first place.) Lancet retracted the article, and years of wasteful research went into re-examining the vaccine theory -- plenty of other locations had rising incidences of autism despite reductions in vaccination rates. There is no controversy among epidemiologists today, but the media continues to describe this as a "controversial theory".
The incidence of autism has since leveled off, suggesting that the observed increase was just based on changes in diagnostic criteria and public awareness; the true prevalence has likely never changed.

The bee disorder in question is probably caused by viruses such as black queen cell virus or bee paralysis virus. Also, South African apiaries have had a problem with transposons (jumping genes), possibly viral in origin, that cause drone workers to produce children, disrupting the hive. Despite what you may have learned in high school, honeybees are a domesticated species with an unnatural pattern of reproduction in the first place. Wild bees do not always have strict hierarchies.

Re:Yet more ignorance to confuse the public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740577)

Hey man, go dangle your participle somewhere else. Folks don't want to see that.

Re:Yet more ignorance to confuse the public (1)

tiny69 (34486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740701)

From the article:

"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."

If parasites, wildlife, and other bees refuse to go near an abandoned hive when normally they would, then something is wrong with the hive.

Cell phone technology and the frequencies they use are not new. Unless someone can point out a new cellular or RF technology that is using a previously unused freguency and was widely distributed through out the US and Europe in the last year, then it would be hard to point to cell phones and claim they are the problem.

An Inconvienent Truth (1)

DolomiteZipper (768505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740457)

Nah, its all the result of Global Warming. Just like everything else.

Biggest Problem (4, Insightful)

tidewaterblues (784797) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740459)

This biggest problem with this theory is that it does not explain why hive death has started now. We have had more than a critical mass of cell phones for years now, especially in Europe. It also fails to explain this rather telling quote from TFA itself: "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."

This makes it sound like a new disease to me.

Why not because of transgenic crops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740499)

Well, since USA is the country that uses most GMO - genetically modified organisms aka transgenic crops, maybe that could also be the problem for the bees...

Signal strength etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740551)

The signal from cell phones, both the mobiles and the cells themselves is relatively weak. There are lots of stronger signals floating around out there. So, if it isn't the strength of the signal, maybe it's the frequency. We've had relatively strong signals at microwave frequencies for the last sixty years. One such system would be DME. It is a navigation system for aircraft and operates at around 1 GHz and it puts out lots of watts. So we have a strong signal at microwave frequencies. Such equipment is often sited in the middle of farmers' fields. The crops in the vicinity of such equipment seem to have no trouble getting pollinated.

We also have radar operating at various frequencies but almost always with quite high powers. I have never seen any evidence that crops in the vicinity of radar have any trouble with pollination.

I really doubt that the bees are having trouble with the RF from cell phones.

On the other hand, cell phone handsets often have displays that need high voltages and those voltages are produced by inverters that operate at ultrasonic frequencies. It is possible that bees will avoid anything that is producing such a high pitched sound. That would be quite a localized phenomenon though and would only occur as long as the phone was actually present.

Doesn't make sense from a power standpoint (1)

techmuse (160085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740605)

Let's not forget that cell phones put out an extremely low power signal. The energy in that signal that would hit any particular point (think of the intersection of a bee and a sphere of signal expanding from the cell phone) decreases with the square of the distance from the phone (inverse square law) If the bee is more than an tiny distance from the phone, the bee would never notice anything, because the energy levels would be so low.

On the other hand, that big shiny ball in the sky that emits huge amounts of radiation on many different wavelengths hits the bee with much more energy.

This simply doesn't make sense.

Re:Doesn't make sense from a power standpoint (1)

linj (891019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740803)

If the bee is more than an tiny distance from the phone, the bee would never notice anything, because the energy levels would be so low.


Someone seems to be discounting the fact that huge transmitting towers exist as well. Which, of course, are often not placed directly in the middle of prime real-estate / urban areas, but close enough to produce a high-quality signal - i.e. perhaps where these pollinating bees exist.

Phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740607)

Please, it's just Homer.

In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women.

Killing my cell phone... (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740611)

Won't bring back your goddamn honey!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6i2WRreARo [youtube.com]

Ahhh! No not the bees! Not the bees! Ahhhhh!!!! Oh no my eyes! My eyes!!! Ahhhh!!!!

its not the mobiles (1)

Just_Buch (1088585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740635)

While it can be possible that certain frequiencies, like 3G (explains why only few years before) or new radar systems, can interfere with bee navigation, it still does not explain why other bees or parasites avoid opportunity to raid abandoned honey. Obviously, it is something in the honey.
Most likely, virus, or, less likely, pollen from GMO plants that has/has not certain biochemical properties.

I acknowledge that GMO has great potential, and that genetic engineering is vital to our survival and evolution as sepcies, but I would like government to force greedy corporations that invests money into it to have longer testing phases in safe environments.
Perhaps they should look to Debian lifecycle ;-)

Best Headline Ever? (1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740677)

A. Yes

B. Yes

C. Yes

D. Yes

More than one answer may be chosen.

Link between navigation and disease? (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740683)

The article makes no mention of the fact that it has been disease and not navigation problems the honeybees have been suffering from. There is already strong evidence that a disease that attacks the bees immune systems is the culprit and not anything to do with navigation.

Disease article 1 [www.cbc.ca]

Disease article 2 [allheadlinenews.com]

Disease article 3 [9wsyr.com]

these are three of hundreds by the way.

So where's the link from navigation to disease. Sure the bees may not be returning, but maybe because they died along the way and not that they got lost. The only possible link is the bees know of certain things that cause disease that they stay away from, but until some link as such is shown this theory it isn't worth a dime.

Corn fields? (5, Interesting)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740687)

A lot of the die-offs have been near corn fields, and a pesticide that coats some of the GM corn is a neurotoxin that causes disorientation in bees, even at low doses. There was a similar issue in France a number of years ago, apparently. Honey production was cut in half for several years. The Star-Ledger here in NJ ran an article about it today. Some are speculating that this might be a factor.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news -11/1176611470205100.xml&coll=1 [nj.com]

Bees have been... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740689)

PHWND!

crock of shit (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740709)

this is pure bullshit. i can't even dignify this with a rebuttal. move along.

Pest Control (1)

eric31415927 (861917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740747)

There is now a non-poisonous method to get rid of bees.

Suppose you have a bees nest in the ground next to your house.
To get rid of the bees, simply gab away on your cellphone.
Make sure your children have cellphones, and ensure they are in constant communication with all of their friends.
Ask your cellular service provider to install a communications tower/link (whaterver it's called) on your property.

One final word of advice: I suggest acting immediatley.
With many of the world's bees in peril, it won't be long before laws are passed to protect your pest bees.

biznat]3h (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740749)

BSD fanatics? I've PALLID BODIES AND What we've knowN by BSDI who seel they are Come it racist for a

Not quite (4, Funny)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740759)

Other studies have pointed to white guilt, neighbourhood paedophiles and industrialised society as possible causes for this and many other aspects of the ongoing apocalypse. Won't somebody please think of the children?!

Bees are actually dying because (1)

haX0rsaw (687063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740767)

my nutsack is horribly smelly. I haven't washed it in YEARS.

Actually due to X-rays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740801)

From The Colony Collapse Disorder Working Group [psu.edu] :

Reports of similar die offs are documented in beekeeping literature, with outbreaks possibly occurring as long ago as 1896. The current phenomenon, without a recognizable underlying cause, has been tentatively termed "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD).

Clearly, this shows that it was the devious Austrians, led by Wilhelm Roentgen [wikipedia.org] , who (as a preliminary attack to weaken their honey-loving victims during the Great War) unleashed the Roentgen or "X" ray upon the world's bees. We must not tolerate these unnatural attacks on the purity of our bees' essence. Let us rise up and destroy all "X" ray machines!

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