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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Changes in honeybee behaviour and biology under the influence of cellphone radiations.

Published in: Current Science 2010; 98 (10): 1376-1378

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones on honeybee behaviour and biology.
Background/further details: Two colonies of honeybees were exposed and two colonies were sham exposed twice a week from February to April (during two brood cycles).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 15 min. twice per day, twice per week from February to April ( 1100 hr and 1500 hr in total)
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 15 min. twice per day, twice per week from February to April ( 1100 hr and 1500 hr in total)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup two cell phones in call mode placed on opposite sides of a bee hive
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 56.8 V/m - - - -
power density density 8.549 µW/cm² - measured - -
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

  • cognitive/behavioral endpoints: honeybee behaviour & biology: flight/returning activity (number of worker bees leaving/returning per minute), pollen foraging efficiency (number of worker bees with pollen loads), brood area comprising eggs, larvae, sealed brood (cm² in a comb frame), queen prolificacy (number of eggs/day), bee strength (number of comb frames/colony), pollen/honey stores (cm²)
Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • before exposure
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

A significant decline in colony strength (nine comb frames in sham exposed and five frames in exposed colonies) and in the egg laying rate of the queen (144.8 eggs/day in the exposed colony, 376.2 eggs/day in the sham exposed colony) was found. The honey storing ability declined due to loss of returning bees (28.3 bees/min in exposed colony and 41.3 bees/min in sham exposed colony) and at the end of the experiment there was neither honey, nor pollen or brood and bees in the exposed colony resulting in complete loss of the colony.
The authors conclude that colony collapse does occur as a result of exposure to cell phone irradiations.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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