Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Buzzing with 50,000 bees / Killing off bees? / Trumbull police union rallies opposition to PD cell tower

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News 

2 June 2010


Vancouver city hall buzzing with 50,000 bees

The roof of Vancouver's city hall is buzzing with some 50,000 bees.

Two hives were installed to mark the Day of the Honey Bees on Saturday.

Honey bees are being decimated around the world for reasons unknown, and now have their own day in Canada as scientists, beekeepers and politicians join forces to raise the profile of the small but important insect.

"About every third bite we take are related to pollinators, and bees are the main pollinators," says Christian Duhme, volunteer beekeeper for city hall. "Our food supply is basically dependent on them."

For the fourth year in a row, beekeepers in B.C. and across North America have experienced devastating losses. On Vancouver Island alone, an estimated 90 per cent of beehives were wiped out this past winter.

Much of B.C.'s agricultural industry, from blueberries to apples, would not survive if the local bee population were wiped out, experts say. But in spite of a worldwide scientific effort to save this vital link in the food chain, a solution remains elusive.

For now, Duhme is urging people to refrain from swatting and killing bees, saying that they are generally docile unless attacked and should not be confused with wasps.

Submitted by Robert
June 1, 2010 2:06 PM PDT

Are cell phones killing off bees?

When it comes to destruction, humans rarely need help. You just have to look at the pleasure 4-year-old boys enjoy while tearing some toy, worm, or silence to shreds to know that the human species, especially the male kind, loves to annihilate.

However, researchers in India believe that cell phones are assisting in the gradual annihilation of something that so many find especially endearing: the honeybee.

According to the Telegraph, researchers at the Punjab University in Chandigarh decided to investigate whether the arrival of the cell phone might have had something to do with the departure of the honey maker.

Many countries are seeing significant declines in their bee populations. Naturally, climate change, pesticides, and viruses are just three of the commonly proposed possible culprits. However, the Indian researchers thought there might be something else involved, so they decided to perform a controlled experiment. They placed a couple of cell phones around a hive, with a couple of fake ones around another hive; a third hive had no cell phones at all.

The real phones were GSM 900MHz and "the exposure given was 15 minutes twice a day during peak bee activity."

To their controlled surprise, three months of observation led them to conclude that the hive with the real cell phones experienced a significant reduction in its population. The queen bee laid fewer than half the number of eggs that the one in the fake cell phone hive did, and neither honey nor pollen was anywhere to be found.

In their report, the researchers, Ved Parkash Sharma and Neelima Kumar, explained that they decided to perform the experiment because there was increasing evidence that electromagnetic fields are responsible for the decline in bee populations. They also noted that similar results have been obtained by those who studied bee populations "under the influence of high-tension lines."

They suggest that all of our chattering radiation may well be messing with the bees' ability to navigate their way back home.

One can only hope that the researchers can reach some definitive conclusions soon, so that they can conduct a new experiment--one that examines whether there is any significant difference in the radiation emitted by various cell phone carriers.

Could it be, for instance, that more bees survive where AT&T, which allegedly drops more calls, is the primary network, than in areas fully served by Verizon?


Trumbull police union rallies opposition to PD cell tower

Published: 03:24 p.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2010

TRUMBULL -- The local police union is mobilizing opposition to a plan to construct a 180-foot-tall cell phone tower on the Police Department's property.

The proposed T-Mobile Communication cell tower would replace the 85-foot-tall radio tower now at the department's building at 158 Edison Road. The Town Council voted to approve the tower last year, and the application is now before the Connecticut Siting Council.

Members of the Trumbull Police Union, Local 1745, and the M.A.T.E. Union, which represents municipal employees -- including the Police Department's civilian dispatchers -- last week sent letters to 1,400 people living within a mile of the police station, urging them to speak out against the cell tower. The letter cites the variety of "negative effects such a proposal can bring to this area. They include health concerns, property valuation concerns, safety concerns, as well as visual/aesthetic concerns."

Reached by phone Friday afternoon, police union President Robert Coppola said the health impact is his biggest concern.

Though there's little concrete evidence about long-term health effects caused by cell towers, opponents fear there could be a link between radio-frequency energy emitted from a tower's antennas and serious health problems, such as cancer.

On its web site, the American Cancer Society reports that "cellular phone towers, like cellular phones themselves, are a relatively new technology and we do not yet have full information on health effects." However, the site also states, "There are some theoretical reasons why cellular phone towers would not be expected to increase cancer risk."

But, Coppola said, until he knows for sure that there are no health risks linked to cell phone antennas, "we don't want this thing over our building."

The letter asks residents who share the opponents' feelings about the project to call or e-mail their local and state representatives. Coppola said the feedback he's gotten so far suggests that many area residents weren't aware of the proposed tower until informed about it by police.

Sending the note to residents is one step the union has taken against the proposed tower. Coppola said the union filed a grievance through the state Department of Labor about the tower in January, and a hearing is expected on the complaint next month. The union also sent a letter to state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in December, but hasn't heard back.

Coppola said he and other union members also hope First Selectman Timothy Herbst will support their fight against the tower. Herbst said he's having the town attorney review the proposal before deciding how to proceed. "I appreciate and understand the union's concern," he said, but added that since the decision was made before his election he's not sure what his options are. "I'm really stepping into this after the fact."

For more information, contact Trumbull Police Union, Local 1745, at 203-261-5264; e-mail at, or visit the "Stop Cell Phone Tower at Trumbull Police Department" page on Facebook.

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