Honey Bees are Dying in Alarming Numbers. 

Why 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....

Column:  www.goingdeeper.org
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 
more man."

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 
exposure.

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 
medical problem."

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 
self-evident."

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."


 

 

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