[NAFEX] civilization vs honeybees

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Sun May 15 09:16:49 EDT 2011

On May 15, 2011, at 8:06 AM, Alan Haigh wrote:

> Thought folks might find this interesting.
> http://www.fastcompany.com/1752894/are-cell-phones-killing-all-the- 
> bees

Now this has hit yet another list that I'm on; although I note that  
the article posted on this list is a little more sensible than the one  
that showed up on the others. Favre is correct that the next step in  
his experiment would be to put the phones at increasing distances from  
the hives. Until and unless he shows significant disturbance on the  
part of the bees as a reaction to cell phones that are as far from the  
hives as cell phone usually are in practice, he doesn't, in my  
opinion, have anything worth writing home about; although I agree that  
it would be useful for him to do that. I don't know why he didn't  
start with phones outside the hives in the first place, as to the best  
of my knowledge nobody other than Favre is trying to make long phone  
calls to the inside of beehives; unless possibly he wanted really  
badly to come up with something that looked like a positive result.

This is apparently the study being referred to:

Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping

What it appears to show is that, if you put a cell phone inside a  
beehive and keep the phone in a state of receiving a call for extended  
periods of time, the bees will make disturbed noises.
I can't tell from this study whether the bees were disturbed by the  
cell phone, or by the continuous sound of the radio "constantly  
playing the France info program" over the cell phone inside the hive,  
as I can't tell whether the radio signal which was used to keep the  
phone active was audible to the bees. There didn't seem to be a  
control that had the radio itself, or a recording of the radio show,  
within a hive.
Even if it was the phone in itself, it would still only apply if the  
phone was actually inside a beehive.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale

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