Monday, April 9, 2007

Nation's honeybees dying from mysterious disorder

Honeybees around the country are dying off in droves. Beekeepers on both coasts have lost 60-70 percent of their bees. The mysterious phenomenon, dubbed colony collapse disorder, is the first time a honeybee ailment has reached national proportions and is being called "the AIDS of the bee industry," since the few survivors found in hives are typically suffering from multiple diseases and parasites, suggesting an immune system dysfunction. No one knows why this is happening, though theories include pesticides, viruses, fungi, poor nutrition, and stress. The economic value of commercial crop pollination by honeybees is around $14 billion. Read more from The New York Times

Could this be a disorder caused by genetically modified crops? Stay tuned for more info...

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees

By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross

Published: 15 April 2007

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But 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. 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.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up...

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