Over the last 220 years society has evolved a universal belief that electricity is “safe” for humanity, animals, plants and insects, including bees. Scientist and journalist Arthur Firstenberg disrupts this conviction by telling the story of electricity in a way that has never been told before – from an environmental point of view.
Extract from Chapter 16, Birds, Bees, Trees and Humans:
“It must not be forgotten, warns german biologist Ulrich Warnke, that every insect is equipped with a pair of antennas, which are demonstrably electromagnetic sensors . In fact the signals communicated between honey bees when they meet and touch antennas can be recorded on an oscilloscope and appear to be frequency modulated between 180 Hz and 250 Hz .
And the famous wiggle dance, Warnke reminds us, by means of which honey bees tell each other the precise direction of food sources with respect to the sun, depends on their knowing the exact position of the sun, even on cloudy days, and within the darkness of the hive. Bees accomplish this feat by sensing minute variations in the earth’s magnetic field – a sense, he says that can be rendered useless under the assault of wireless transmissions with their constantly changing magnetic fields .
Destruction of Bee Hives
The quickest way to destroy a beehive, investigators have found is to place a wireless telephone inside it. The results of such experiments, considering the complete denial by our society that wireless technology has any environmental effects at all, have been almost unbelievable.
In 2009, environmental scientist Ved Parkash Sharma and zoologist Neelima Kumar, at Punjab University in India, placed two cell phones each – one in talk mode and one in listening mode in order to maintain the connection – in two of four hives. They turned them on at 11:00 in the morning for 15 minutes, and at 3:00 in the afternoon for another 15 minutes. They did this twice a week between February and April. as soon as the phones were turned on the bees would become quiet and still ” as if unable to decide what to do.”
Loss of Honey
During the course of three months fewer and fewer bees flew in and out of those two hives. The number of eggs laid by the queen declined from 546 to 145 per day. The area under brood declined from 2,866 to 760 square centimeters. Honey stores declined from 3,200 to 400 square centimeters. “At the end of the experiment there was neither honey, nor pollen nor brood nor bees in the colony resulting in complete loss of the colony” .
Interference with Cellular Metabolism
The following year Kumar performed a landmark experiment ….that showed dramatically and simply how electromagnetic fields interfere with cellular metabolism. She repeated the exposure of the previous year and then analysed the bees’ blood, or hemolymph, as it is called. After the cell phones had been on for only ten minutes, the concentration of glucose, cholesterol, total carbohydrates, total lipids and total protein rose tremendously. In other words, after just ten minutes of exposure to cell phones, the bees practically could not metabolize sugars, proteins or fats. As in humans, their cells were becoming oxygen starved. But it happens much faster in bees.”
- Firstenberg, A. The Invisible Rainbow, A History of Electricity and Life. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020. ISBN 978-1-64502-009-7.
- Warnke, Ulrich. 1976. Effects of Electric Charges on Honeybees. Bee World 57(2), pp.50-56.
- Warnke, Ulrich, 1989. Information Transmission by Means of Electrical Biofields. In: Electromagnetic Bio-Information (Munchen: Urban & Schwarzenberg), pp.74-101.
- Lindauer, Martin and Herman Martin. 1972. Magnetic Effect on Dancing Bees. In: Animal Orientation and Navigation, (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office), NASA SP-262, pp. 559-67.
- Sharma, Ved Parkash and Neelima R. Kumar. 2010. Changes in Honeybee Behaviour under the Influence of Cellphone Radiations. Current Science 98(10), pp.1376-78.