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New Study Links Bee Decline to Cell Phones

A new study suggests that cell phone radiation may be contributing to declines in bee populations.  Bee populations dropped 17 percent in the UK last year, and nearly 30 percent in the United States.

Researchers fitted cell phones to a hive and powered them up for two fifteen-minute periods each day.  After three months, they found the bees stopped producing honey, egg production by the queen bee halved, and the size of the hive dramatically reduced.

According to CNN:

“It's not just the honey that will be lost if populations plummet further. Bees are estimated to pollinate 90 commercial crops worldwide. Their economic value in the UK is estimated to be $290 million per year and around $12 billion in the U.S.

The reason for the effect could be related to a pigment called cryptochrome, which animals, including insects, use for navigation.  Bees use it to sense the direction of the earth's magnetic field, and their ability to do this may be compromised by radiation from cell phones and their base stations, with the result that the bees do not find their way back to the hive.

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