Cell phones are killing bees! That’s what a new study suggests, maybe. Bee populations have been in decline worldwide for the past four years. Last year, thirty percent in the US, and seventeen percent in the UK.
Scientists have been at a loss to explain this, although there is some evidence that points to pesticides and climate change as factors. But now, researchers at Panjab University in India believe that cell phones are also to blame.
They set up a controlled experiment comparing the behavior and productivity of bees in two hives. One was fitted with two cell phones powered up for two fifteen minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed. After three months, the researchers saw a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phones, and a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey.
Andrew Goldsworthy, a biologist with the Imperial College, London, who has studied the biological effects of electromagnetic fields, tells CNN that he thinks it’s possible bees could be affected by cell phone radiation. He says it has to do with a pigment in bees called cryptochrome.
“Animals, including insects, use cryptochrome for navigation.” Goldsworthy told CNN. “They use it to sense the direction of the earth’s magnetic field and their ability to do this is compromised by radiation from [cell] phones and their base stations. So basically bees do not find their way back to the hive.”
The Atlantic provides some more insight into cryptochrome:
Cryptochrome apparently also plays a role in controlling circadian rhythms. If cell phone and tower radiation disturbs cryptochrome molecules, it could have serious consequences for our circadian rhythms, Goldsworthy wrote in a briefing for an independent, British radiation research group last year. Circadian rhythms follow a roughly 24-hour cycle and play a key role in physically, mentally and behaviorally regulating our bodies. Mess with your circadian rhythms and you screw with, among other things, your ability to be well-rested and the associated health benefits. Goldsworthy argues that the link between phone radiation and cryptochrome could then explain the sometimes-found link between cell phones and cancer.
Doesn’t sound good. If cells phones are screwing up your circadian rhythms, just imagine what they’re doing to your chakras, your chi, they might even be messing with your karma.
Now I know some researchers claim that just because cell phones use electromagnetic radiation, that doesn’t mean they are harmful. I don’t believe them. It’s a conspiracy. All the people who say that probably have cell phones themselves.
I don’t. I’ve never owned one, don’t want to own one. I’ve spent half my life in sales talking on the telephone, the last thing I want to do is carry one around with me.
You can’t talk to people face to face anymore. Whether it’s on the street or in a store, or anywhere. Why? Because they’re talking on their damn cell phones. When I see people walking around talking, and I can’t see who they are talking to, I’m not sure if they’re on the phone or if they’re schizo. In Hollywood, where I live, sometimes it’s a toss-up.
And I don’t want to hear their conversations, especially when I’m sitting in the waiting area of the doctor’s office, and they’re carrying on a conversation in a loud voice about something their brother-in-law did. I don’t want to hear it. If cells phones came with a Cone of Silence, like in Get Smart, then it wouldn’t be so bad.
So, while I don’t like cell phones, I do like bees, although I don’t know any personally. Bees, you know, produce all of the world’s honey and pollinate 90 percent of the planet’s commercial crops. The total value of produce pollinated by bees in the United States alone is around $12 billion. Their loss would have a negative effect on the economy.
We have to protect the bees. What’s more, we can’t allow these killer cell phones to inflict any more damage on human life.
Buddhists of the world, if you believe in the principle of “do no harm to any living thing,” thrown away your cell phones at once! It’s the bodhisattva thing to do! The bees, and at least one human being, namely me, will be thankful.