Monday, August 24, 2009

EMR frying navigational skills of bees / Fifth of honeybees died in winter / Bee video - researchers not smart enough / Letter to the Minister of Health for Canada

Check that tongue! Mobile phones buzz out honeybees
Don Sebastian / DNA
Friday, August 21, 2009 2:54 IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Sweet nothings murmured into a mobile phone spell doom for honeybees, says a study. The booming communication industry is not helping one sector - apiculture - at least. Honey and bee wax are not the only things at stake, though. One-third of our crops need bees to pollinate.

"There is a 60% plunge in Kerala's commercial bee population. Bees are susceptible to diseases and attacks by ants, wasps and wax moths, but vigilant keepers can check these," Sainudeen Pattazhy, reader in zoology, SN College, Punalur, said. His study warns that bees would be wiped out in a decade if mobile phone towers continue to proliferate at the current rate.

Pattazhy's experiments show that workers, who constitute around 90% of bees in a hive, abandon it when a mobile device is placed near it. "I placed a mobile device 10 metres off a hive for 5-10 days, after which worker bees never returned. The massive radiation from mobile phones and towers is frying navigational skills of bees," he said.

Thriving hives were suddenly left with only the queen, drones and larvae. The environmentalist believes atmospheric electromagnetic radiation is responsible for this colony collapse disorder, characterised by mass disappearance of workers who buzz about collecting honey and pollinating flowers.

In the US west coast, this apian disorder is such an ecological disaster that colonies of bees are hired to pollinate almond plantations. Apiarists' blame theories vary from viruses and bacteria to pesticides and radiation.

"Bees and other insects have evolved complex immunity systems over millions of years. Now, why would they suddenly die out due to diseases and parasites? Of course, we are introducing a new factor to their environment, which is disrupting their immune system," Pattazhy said.

"Insects and small animals would naturally be the first to be affected by an increase in ambient radiation. Behavioural patterns of bees alter when they are in close proximity to mobile phone towers. The vanished bees were never found, thought to have died," he said.

A radiation of 900 MHz is highly bioactive, causing significant alternation in living organisms. There are close to 1.25 apiarists in Kerala. A single hive can yield up to 5 kg of honey. Pattazhy advises beekeepers to shield their hives with aluminium, which blocks radiation to an extent.


Fifth of honeybees died in winter

Almost a fifth of the UK's honeybees died last winter, the British Beekeepers' Association has said.

Combined with an average 30% loss the year before, it means beekeepers are struggling to keep colonies going.

Honeybees are worth £200m a year to UK agriculture because of their work pollinating crops.

Bees are suffering from viruses, a parasitic mite and changes in the weather. Experts are calling for more money to be put into research.

A survey by the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) suggested an average of 19.2% of colonies died over winter, which is "double" the acceptable level.

The highest losses were recorded in the north of England, where 32.1% perished, and the lowest in eastern England, where 12.8% did not survive.

" These ongoing losses in the pollination army of honeybees cannot continue if we are to secure food supplies "
BBKA's president Tim Lovett

The survey showed an improvement on the previous year, which the BBKA put down to the period of really cold weather in the winter which encouraged the bees to "cluster" together, helping them to survive.

It also said the good weather in early spring enabled them to forage for nectar and pollen.

'Onslaught of threats'

But there was still a "worrying and continuing high level of colony loss", said the BBKA's president Tim Lovett.

"It underlines the need for research into the causes and remedies for disease in order to ensure that our principal economic pollinator, the honeybee, can survive the onslaught of the threats it currently faces," he said.

"These ongoing losses in the pollination army of honeybees cannot continue if we are to secure food supplies."

Nearly all the UK's 250 species of bee are in decline. In the last two years, honeybee numbers have fallen by 10-15%.

The conservation watchdog Natural England recently called on people living in urban areas to consider keeping bees.

Its chief scientist Tom Tew told the BBC: "We want urban people to engage with wildlife and get joy and pleasure from it. The more hives you have the more resilient the whole population is to the outbreak of disease."

'Really distressing'

The BBC presenter Martha Kaerney is an amateur beekeeper and has seen for herself the decline in numbers.

She told Breakfast on BBC One: "They've died out on me before and it was really distressing.

"You put the bees away for the winter and you hope they're going to be OK.

"And when you open up the colony in the spring and see lots of dead bees in there, it's unpleasant.

"Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby and I love it. But they are dying. This year is slightly better than last year though."

A report by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee last month warned the government was giving "little priority" to the health of the nation's bees despite their importance to the agricultural economy.

Experts say sustaining bee populations is essential to ensuring the survival of Britain's plants and crops.

Hi All
The link below is to a very interesting short video about bees dying.  It shows several smart people who understand that bees are dying and have various views about the causes.  Unfortunately they are not quite smart enough to realise that electro magnetic radiation is harming the bees and is a major contributor to CCD.
Martin Weatherall
Plan Bee from the Co-Op pairs film release with environmental action
Netribution - UK
Honeybees are dying in their millions and no-one knows why. In the UK around one third of all hives were lost in the winter of 2008. Vanishing of the Bees ...
Letter to the Minister of Health for Canada
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 12:29 AM
Subject: One more example of Health Canada's contempt for Canadians

Tsk!  Tsk!  Ms. Pieterson,  Have you no shame?  Have you no shame at all?
I sent the Minister studies showing exposure to non-thermal radiation causes seepage through the blood brain barrier.
You responded for the Minister and recommended that I read the latest ICNIRP report even though I now realize you didn't have a clue what was in it.  I told you that the ICNIRP report contained evidence that non-thermal FM frequencies cause thermal harm.  So in response, you sent me a form letter about powerlines.  (Note to Ms. Pieterson:  FM transmitters are not power lines.  I know it's a hard concept to grasp but struggle with this:  FM transmits radio frequencies wirelessly.  Powerlines transmit electricity by those limp wires hanging between pillars.  I know, I know, it takes a technical mind,  If it's any consolation, most of your colleagues at Health Canada suffer from this same disability.)
Powerlines, Ms. Pieterson?  Powerlines?  I send verifiable, peer reviewed, scientific evidence to you of harmful emissions coming from FM transmitters in our neighbourhood, and you have the temerity, the unmitigated gall to send me a form letter about powerlines?  My neighbour sends you an email recounting his fears about living 30 metres from 140,000 watts of FM transmission and you send him that same form letter about  powerlines?  Again, I ask:  have you no shame?
In the future, Ms. Pieterson, when I send you these devastating reports demonstrating Health Canada's incompetence and malfeasance and you feel the urge to muster a defense (and, in doing so, proving once again that my worst opinion of Health Canada is justified), might I suggest that you merely list the number identifying the form letter without going to the trouble of actually printing it out -- I'm sure I already have it.  That way you can spout the nonsense and, at the same time, acknowledge that you know that I know it's nonsense.  It's a way of bringing a little less dishonesty to a thoroughly sleazy process.  And it might suggest an answer to where you stand on that question of shame.
Sharon Noble