Bees are Dying in Alarming Numbers.
should you care?
This is a reprint from an article by Jean-Cluade Gerard Koven. No
one is sure at this point exactly what is causing this problem, and this
article proposes a possible cause. One way or the other, it's clearly
something that humans need to look into and fix ASAP. What silly
creatures we are, shooting ourselves in the foot....
From Jean-Claude Gerard Koven
April 3, 2007
Last week I received an email from a friend reporting a sudden,
devastating collapse in America's bee population. The message triggered
an immediate unpleasant shiver through my body as I recalled the ominous
quote attributed to Albert Einstein: "If the bee disappeared off the
surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left.
No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no
Being a bit skeptical, I assumed this was just another piece of
alarmist misinformation finding its way onto Internet distribution
lists. A few minutes' research not only confirmed the story, but made me
realize that the problem is far from local. In official circles, the
condition is called either Fall-Dwindle Disease or, more commonly,
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
The communication I received stated: "Honeybees are flying off in
search of pollen and nectar and simply never returning to their
colonies. During the final three months of 2006, a distressing number of
honeybee colonies began to diminish from the United States, and
beekeepers all over the country have reported unprecedented losses.
According to scientists, the domesticated honeybee population has
declined by about 50 percent in the last 50 years. Reports of similar
losses to the honeybee population have been documented before in
beekeeping literature, but are widely believed to have occurred at this
scale previously only at a regional level. With outbreaks recorded as
far back as 1896, this is regarded as the first national honeybee
epidemic in U.S. history."
The topics grabbing headlines these days leave little room in the
news for the plight of an insect. What we fail to appreciate is that
without an abundance of bees to pollinate crops, the United States could
lose as much as 30 percent of its food supply. According to Zac
Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation, "Every
third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to
pollinate that food."
There is no doubt about what is happening or its consequences if the
situation is not rectified. What remains murky is the cause. According
to Walter Haefeker, director of the German Beekeepers Association, CCD
has four possible causes: the varroa mite, introduced from Asia; the
widespread practice of spraying wildflowers with herbicides; the
practice of monoculture (a single crop covering a large area); and the
controversial yet growing use of genetic engineering in agriculture.
However, it is the thinking of one of the cell phone industry's
former scientific hired guns that caught my attention. When George
Carlo, Ph D., the celebrated author of "Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards
in the Wireless Age" and current chairman of the nonprofit Science and
Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., weighs in with an opinion,
we'd all be fools not to listen carefully.
On a recent conference call, Dr. Carlo laid the blame for the sudden
demise (often within 72 hours) of entire bee colonies on the recent
proliferation of electromagnetic waves (EMF). He cited the startling
statistic that, at present, there are some 2.5 billion cell phone users
around the world. While this (plus the explosive growth of cell phone
towers) used to be the major concern, the problem has been significantly
exacerbated by the recent introduction of satellite radio. Imagine being
closeted in a confined environment filled with chain smokers; it would
be impossible for you to get a breath of clean air. It is becoming
equally difficult for you to avoid the now-measurable damage from EMF
Dr. Carlo commented that the constant electromagnetic background
noise seems to disrupt intercellular communication within individual
bees, such that many of them cannot find their way back to the hive. His
conclusions are confirmed by a recent study conducted by three
departments of Panjab University (India), which has found that cell
phone towers the dominant source of electromagnetic radiation in the
city of Chandigarh could well be the cause behind the mysterious
disappearance of butterflies, some insects (like bees), and birds.
Andrew Weil, M.D, author of "Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to
Optimum Health," fully agrees: "Electromagnetic pollution may be the
most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this
century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible."
In some countries, up to 10 percent of the population suffers from a
serious EMF-induced condition that Dr. Carlo and others call membrane
sensitivity syndrome. In a recent address to the Health, Social Services
and Housing Sub-Panel in the United Kingdom, Carlo explained:
"Originally, this type of condition was the result of high chemical
exposures; we used to call it chemical sensitivity. Now we have
identified the same type of condition in patients who are exposed to
various types of electromagnetic radiation. It is a medical problem.
People who have membrane sensitivity syndrome have internal bleeding.
They can be in a room where somebody puts on a cell phone, and they will
end up having an immediate reaction; they will go home and they will
bleed and in their stool they will have blood. This condition is very
debilitating. It prevents these people from being able to work; they
cannot earn a living, they have difficult relationships with their
children, their spouses give up on them. ... It is a very, very serious
The bees are the modern-day counterpart of the canaries that miners
used to carry with them as they descended into the mine shafts. If the
birds died, it was an early warning of a buildup of toxic gases in the
mine. When canaries die or bees disappear, we are being cautioned that
we too are in immediate danger. It is time to listen to the message
nature is telling us. Denial the favorite ploy of those whose profits
are being threatened is no longer an option. As Arthur Schopenhauer
said, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being
I shudder to think of what will become of humankind if we linger too
long in stage two: "no more bees, no more pollination, no more plants,
no more animals, no more man."