Bees have been going missing by the millions, leaving their hives never to come back, in what the experts have termed "Colony Collapse Disorder". Speculation is rife over what may be the cause of the trouble. Toxins from genetically modified crops and pesticides are prime suspects, but the question has also been raised, whether electromagnetic radiation - such as the mobile phone signals that cover most of the globe by now - may be to blame.
This latter hypothesis seems to get more credence from a report of three years ago from Germany, which Art Kab has translated into English.
The original in German can be found on the site of Eurotinnitus - as a PDF. Here is the translation into English:
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"Will Some Device Save The Bees from Bee-Colony Collapse Disorder?"
Hobbyist bee-keeper Sigfried Vogel from Hüttung, Germany has discovered a way to safely shield his precious little honey makers.
An old truck has been until recently the domicile of a total of seven bee hives. Siegfried Vogel (in picture) has lost four of his bee colonies in the past year - those which were located behind wooden shielding on his truck. His son Reinhold has had better luck: He still owns his three colonies of bees which are located behind and protected by a portion of aluminum shielding on the same truck. Hence, Siegfried Vogel is now advising all beekeepers to protect their colonies of bees from mobile-phone radiation with aluminum shielding.
PHOTOS: Werner ROST
Does this radiation, which is emitted from the mobile phone masts and between microwave relay stations and to which many residents are also exposed, also pose a danger to animals? Siegfried Vogel from the Selbitz area of Hüttung believes the radiation emitted from the multitude of surrounding mobile phone masts is responsible for the loss of his four bee colonies during the past year.
Mr. Vogel is not alone in his assessment. The loss of birds has also been suspected as being caused by the mobile phone radiation. Recently, there have been numerous reports on the Internet concerning the impairment and loss of bees and messenger pigeons. The authors of these articles are attributing this loss to mobile phone mast radiation. The loss of birds is also spurring fears that the whole of nature may be at risk due to the ever-increasing electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and the like.
HÜTTUNG - most people who enjoy a spread of sweet honey on bread at breakfast probably never think of the immense work bees perform to collect enough nectar from the pollen of plants. During each flight, a bee collects 50 millgrams of nectar - that is equivalent to 50 thousandth of a gram. To produce a kilogram of honey, the small hard working insects must visit between 3 and 5 million flowers and plants.
The bees are however not only important for satisfying the taste buds of honey-loving humans. These insects are also a dire necessity for all of nature, since a multitude of plant species rely on the small creatures for pollination and hence the continuation of their species.
During evolution (the development and change of the entire animal and plant world over millions of years) a partnership of extreme importance developed between the bees and a multitude of plant species.
"Without bees, many plant species would simply face extinction," stresses Siegfried Vogel from Hüttung, who in his early youth gained his first experiences in beekeeping.
After retiring, and now at the age of 76, Mr. Vogel has enjoyed 15 successful years of honey production. He was housing his bee colonies inside an old wooden truck and until a year ago the beekeeper had four bee colonies in hives behind wooden planks on the truck.
This winter Mr. Vogel witnessed the disappearance of all four of his bee hives. The bees had met a tragic and mysterious fate.
Siegfried Vogel believes microwave radiation from mobile phone masts is responsible for the loss of his bees. Vogel explained that the microwave radiation is coming onto his property from four directions. There are three mobile phone masts in Selbitz, three more in Sellanger, and recently a new mast was erected in Leupoldsgrün, adding to an increasing level of ambient background microwave radiation infecting the area.
Our newspaper tested the mobile phone reception in this area and found it to be "good" to "very good."
Vogel offers as evidence - that mobile phone masts have caused the demise of his bee colonies - the fact that his son's colonies, which were placed behind aluminum shielding, have survived. (Aluminum is known to block microwave radiation.)
Since all their bee colonies were equally protected from cold weather with polystyrene insulation in the trailer, Siegfried Vogel concludes that the aluminium surrounding his sons beehives must be shielding them from the radiation from mobile phone masts.
Mr. Vogel, who is a passionate hobbyist and tinkerer, continued to experiment in his workshop towards finding a solution for protecting the bees.
By holding two electrodes, connected to a voltage meter, into the air and adjusting the meter's sensitivity to 200 millivolts he gets a constantly varying readout. If he then touches the electrodes with each hand, the meter readout suddenly doubles. As Vogel explains, this simple experiment shows that the human body works as an antenna. In another experiment, he holds the two electrodes between two magnets and the voltage meter readout drops back to near zero. According to Vogel, this works with permanents magnets and electromagnets.
Vogel's results: One can protect oneself and one's bees with metal and magnetic shielding. Thus, Vogel imagines appropriate protective screening solutions not only for bee hives but also for human and animals habitats.
"We cannot stand our ground against the monopoly of the mobile telecommunication industry, but in this way perhaps we can protect ourselves," added Siegfried Vogel.
The beekeeper plans to continue working with his son's bee colonies. He also wants to provide aluminum shielding for bees in a nearby orchard. Siegfried Vogel wishes to exchange experiences with other beekeepers in the region. Prospective customers can contact him by telephone.
translation checked and forwarded by
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"