Abstract: Apiculture has developed in to an important industry in India as honey and beewax have become common products. Recently a sharp decline in population of honey bees has been observed in Kerala. Although the bees are susceptible to diseases and attacked by natural enemies like wasps, ants and wax moth, constant vigilance on the part of the bee keepers can over come these adverse conditions. The present plunge in population (< 0.01) was not due to these reasons. It was caused by man due to unscientific proliferation of towers and mobile phones.

Method: Six colonies of honeybees ( Apis mellifera ) were selected. Three colonies were selected as test colonies (T1,T2&T3) and the rest were as control (C1,C2&C3). The test colonies were provided with mobile phones in working conditions with frequency of 900 MHz for 10 minutes for a short period of ten days. EMF (Electromotive field) power density was measured with the help of RF Power density meter. The control colonies had not provided with mobile phones. Queen prolificacy was calculated in terms of egg laying rate of the queen 1 . Flight activity and returning ability were measured as number of worker bees leaving and returning respectively to the hives per minute: before exposure, during exposure and after exposure.

The present study showed that after ten days the worker bees never returned hives in the test colonies. The massive amount of radiation produced by mobile phones and towers is actually frying the navigational skills of the honey bees and preventing them from returning back to their hives 14 . It was shown that the total bee strength was significantly higher in the control colonies being nine comb frames as compared to one in the test colony at the end of the experiment. The thriving hives suddenly left with only queens, eggs and hive bound immature worker bees. The queens in the test colonies produced fewer eggs/day (100) compared to the control (350). It has previously been reported that there is low egg laying rate in queens exposed to high voltage transmission lines 5 or exposure of the queen bees to cell phone radiation stimulated her to produce only drones 6 . Thus electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure provides a better explanation for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) than other theories. The path of CCD in India has followed the rapid development of cell phone towers and cell phones, which cause atmospheric electromagnetic radiation.

Sainudeen Sahib.S, International Journal of Envi ronmental Sciences Volume 1 No.5, 2011

Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) Clashes with Honey Bees

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