Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Exposure to an additional alternating magnetic field affects comb building by worker hornets. med./bio.

Published in: Physiol Chem Phys Med NMR 2007; 39 (1): 83-88

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To assess the effect of a 50 Hz magnetic field additional to the geomagnetic field on the fertility and the comb building activity of worker hornets.

Background/further details

Worker hornets were placed in groups of 10 to 20 animals in artificial breeding boxes. The control artificial breeding boxes were remote from the exposure groups, with varying distances.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 weeks

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 2 weeks
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • not specified
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 5 µT minimum - - -
magnetic flux density 7 µT maximum - - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The following trends could be observed: Fewer comb cells (35-55% less) were built by the exposed groups compared to the control groups. The cells in combs of the control groups were perfectly hexagonal and uniform, whereas the cells in combs of the exposed groups were rather asymmetrical. More delicate and slender comb stems occured under exposure.
The control group yielded the maximal number of eggs, i.e. each comb cell housed an egg or larva. The exposed combs contained only a few eggs and no larvae.
The authors assume that the exposure to a 50 Hz magnetic field induced or inhibited currents in the body of the worker hornet which caused it to build its comb in an deviant way.

Study character:

Study funded by

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