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Wrong Number—Bees Hate Mobile Phones

Feb. 22, 2013|686 views
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In an intriguing experiment, scientists placed a cordless phone base units in bee hives and documented their effects on the bees’ behavior. In hives that had no active radio-wave-generating phone base, bees came and went normally. Shockingly, in hives with active phone bases, the bees all left, but few—if any—ever returned. Bees are estimated to pollinate plants that supply one-third of the human diet, and colonies have been mysteriously declining for a number of years. Some scientists believe radio waves may be at least partially to blame.


It’s alarming to think that technologies we take for granted may be causing unintended consequences. Many of those activities—like cell phone usage, for example—have rapidly become deeply ingrained in everyday life. If bees were to stop pollinating flowering plants, there’s no telling what the world might look like. It almost certainly wouldn’t be as tasty, or colorful.


Although we’re constantly reassured that cell phones are completely safe, when you look carefully at the data, things are not so certain. Children, whose brains and nervous systems are still growing, may be especially vulnerable to any harmful effects from cell phone radiation. Given the growing numbers—and declining ages—of cell phone users, it’s a little alarming to consider that this technology may be less safe than we believe. Ask surgeons who remove brain tumors for a living, and you may find that many worry about rising cell phone use, which has mirrored an alarming rise in cases of brain cancer.



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Cardis E, Armstrong BK, Bowman JD, Giles GG, Hours M, Krewski D, et al. Risk of brain tumours in relation to estimated RF dose from mobile phones: results from five Interphone countries. Occup Environ Med. 2011 Sep;68(9):631-40. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2011-100155. Epub 2011 Jun 9.


Favre D. Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping. Apidologie. May 2011, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 270-279,


Röösli M, Rapp R, Braun-Fahrländer C. [Radio and microwave frequency radiation and health--an analysis of the literature]. Gesundheitswesen. 2003 Jun;65(6):378-92.


Seitz H, Stinner D, Eikmann T, Herr C, Röösli M. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and subjective health complaints associated with electromagnetic fields of mobile phone communication--a literature review published between 2000 and 2004. Sci Total Environ. 2005 Oct 15;349(1-3):45-55. Epub 2005 Jun 21.  


Talamanca IF, Giliberti C, Salerno S. [Cell phones: health risks and prevention]. Ann Ig. 2012 Jan-Feb;24(1):3-23.

Tags:  prevention, health tips