Unreserved apology

I would like to apologize unreservedly for my error in linking to the article about cell phones hurting bees.  It isn’t true, and I shoulda researched it more carefully… or at least not presented it as something resembling fact.

Honeybees have many problems, tracheal mites, pesticides, etc.  Radiation is actually fairly far down the list of troubles.

Published by


Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

2 thoughts on “Unreserved apology”

  1. Yes. Electromagnetic radiation is at the bottom of the list, and no good research has been done which shows ANY effect from the radiation from cell phones. I had a conversation yesterday with the lad at Babe’s Honey. Once I got past his stage-hick persona and into his university-prepared apiarist persona, I learned that the one “study” which has been done had the researcher grab a bunch of bees from two hives, one of which had a cell phone in close proximity, one not. The bees were dotted with paint to mark them, and released a mile from the hive. Five returned to the no-phone hive, one to the phone hive. It sounds so far like it was a high school biology project. The only problem – aside, of course, from ridiculously small numbers – is that you can’t tell from looking at them which of the worker bees nabbed for the experiment were foragers. Only the foragers can find their way back; the others, unaccustomed to being out and about, would naturally get lost. The experimenter could have used mostly non-foragers. Thus for two reasons at least the experiment didn’t reveal ANYTHING.
    So – don’t throw away your cell phones for THAT reason. I can think of a few OTHER valid reasons for doing that, of course.

  2. This article got me too and I know better. Still, I hope someone repeats the experiment with a more well-defined methodology starting with some basic thoughts:
    1) What comes out of a cell phone: a) radiation; b) some sort of waves for communication, etc. — test each separately.
    2) What types and numbers of bees are in a nest (per Nautilus3)?
    3) Does the marking have any effect on the bees ability to return to the nest, i.e. mark both bees from both hives a different colour.
    4) How close does the cell phone have to be to the nest, i.e. is there any relevance if there are no cell phones in the farmers field anyway.
    One could go on for a week creating a list of simple questions, before even bringing in the bee experts and developing a sound methodolgy for sample design, collection and estimation including significance levels.
    I would agree the experiment didn’t proove anything, I doubt the resultant differences from the two hives could even be significant at any reasonable alpha level.

Leave a Reply