Thursday, July 19, 2007

Who killed the bees? Nature or Capitalism?

When the first stories came out about the collapse of bee colonies in the US and then Europe (or was it the other way round) plenty of faces were put in the frame including the increasing prevalence of mobile phone masts that are popping up on the top of all good school buildings near you. I resisted blogging on this like so many others as it seems to be a standard newspaper scare story but can resist no longer:

Are mobile phones killing our bees?[Omega-News April 2007]

Honey bees are dying all over the globe. What's going on?[]
Albert Einstein once predicted that if bees were to disappear, man would follow only a few years later. That hypothesis could soon be put to the test.

We will present data in this article on four possible causes which may be killing the honey bees: 1) The hybrid genetically altered plants developed by Monsanto (described below), 2) The possibility that cellphone radio frequencies may be hindering the bees from locating their hives, 3) The possibility of a virus and 4) The possibility that a mite could be infecting the bees. As more details are know we will post them.

Millions of Bees Die - Are Electromagnetic Signals To Blame?[Sepp Hasslberger March 2007]
At Cornell Univ. honeybees in a hive relocated into a new building became disoriented. After extensive research ruled out other causes, someone noticed the hive was next to the building's electric transformer. The bees were confused by 60 hz magnetism strong enough to interfere with homing and communication to gather nectar and pollen. (

Mobile phones could lead to bee decline[The Ecologist April 2007]

However, perhaps our "scientist" has the answer or is this just another "theory" that to be debunked?

Asian Parasite Killing Western Bees - Scientist
MADRID - A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for years.

The culprit is a microscopic parasite called nosema ceranae said Mariano Higes, who leads a team of researchers at a government-funded apiculture centre in Guadalajara, the province east of Madrid that is the heartland of Spain's honey industry.

So what does our Spanish expert say about mobile phone masts -
Another theory points a finger at mobile phone aerials, but Higes notes bees use the angle of the sun to navigate and not electromagnetic frequencies.

Well he didn't take long to debunk 100s of blog and newspaper articles.

In answer to the question posed in the title, it is clear that nature played a part but one might ask "how did the parasite get to the US and Europe from Asia in the first place?"

The blame clearly lies with "Globalisation" and its constant bedfellow "rampant capitalism".

Finally, I like the title of the PlanetArk article - the inclusion of the word "scientist" at the end just adds that pointless air of authority to the article.

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