Used Cell Phones Disturbing Bees

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Last updated April 12, 2019

It is a theory that has been postulated, rejected, reoffered, rejected and resurrected again and again in the media – are used cell phones disturbing bees and causing what has been termed “colony collapse disorder”?
A new study from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology appears to come out in favor of the theory actually being true.  The research say that bees buzz in a different way when near the signals given off by new and old cell phones, and that the resultant different behavior could be responsible for the collapse of colonies.  The researchers put two cell phones into beehives and operated them, first in standby mode and then connecting to one another.  While the bees appeared not to notice the cell phones when in standby mode, their behavior altered when the phones were actually in use, with their buzzing becoming considerably louder.
“This is clear evidence that the bees are sensitive to phone signals and are disturbed by mobile phones,” claims the research director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Daniel Favre.  He says that bees ordinarily only produce a buzz of such high intensity when they are set to leave the hive in a swarm in order to seek out food, and that cell phones could therefore confuse the bees, making them leave the hive prior to the full maturation of the queen and before there are even any larvae to feed.