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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.
Honey bees are one of the most important species in the world and life without them would be practically impossible. You may have heard that a world without bees means a world without fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts. It’s true, Albert Einstein once said that “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years to live”.
The electromagnetic waves emitted by mobile phone towers and cellphones can pose a threat to honey bees, a study published in India has concluded.
An experiment conducted in the southern state of Kerala found that a sudden fall in the bee population was caused by towers installed across the state by cellphone companies to increase their network.
Apiculture (the technical term for beekeeping) is a well-developed industry in India, which is why the majority of research on the impact of mobile radiation on honey bees is provided by this country. The potential phenomenon of extinct bee populations worldwide is known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). It could be caused by several reasons, e.g. climate change and pesticides, as well as the radiation emitted by mobile phones, WiFi routers, and cell phone masts. Radiofrequency radiation occurs everywhere.
In their report on bee populations in India, scientists Ved Prakash Sharma and Neelima Kumar noticed that an increase in the usage of electronic devices had led to electropollution of the environment. “Honeybee behavior and biology had been affected by electrosmog since these insects have magnetite in their bodies which helps them in navigation”, they said.