September 10, 2007, 5:58 PM — Recent claims that mobile phone signals may be responsible for the decline in honeybee numbers have been quashed by research.
In April Landau University in Germany suggested that the mobile phone signals were confusing bees and leading to their death from CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). The disease paralyses bees so they then die outside the hives. It has been responsible for the deaths of between 50 and 90 percent of commercially managed bees in the U.S. alone.
A three-year scientific study conducted at U.S. universities has uncovered a virus which is thought to have come from imported bees and royal jelly and then spread through apiaries, causing the death of the bees.
Microflora in CCD hives, normal hives and imported royal jelly was observed. An organism called Israeli acute paralysis virus of bees was found to be strongly correlated with the disorder.
The research also suggested factors such as the practice of transporting bees in closed trucks may put the bees under stress and make them more likely to contract the virus. The next step in the research is to infect a sample of bees with the virus to see if it is definitely to blame.