Interview with local bee keepers

Have you heard of the correlation between cell phones & the reduced supply of honey?

This is the question I asked four different vendors at The Lincoln, Nebraska Farmer’s Market in the Haymarket yesterday morning. All four said that they did hear of it and all said they didn’t believe it.

I was able to ask 2 of the 4 of them if they owned cell phones and they admitted they did.

I was going to ask if they had ever noticed unusual behavior which they might attribute to the use of their cell phones, but it seemed unnecessary considering their presuppositions. However, one of the beekeepers actually volunteered that it wouldn’t be the cell phones that are the problem, but the cell phone towers. Another one stated that some of their best honey production is performed by bees at hives where there are 3 cell phone towers in the area.

One of the beekeepers actually gave wrong information when I asked him if he had heard of the study. He believed that the study had more to do with a natural disorientation that occurs when bees are driven around the country (between California and Florida and he mentioned one other state which I can’t recall the name of). He claimed that, “if you drove someone around the country and made them all disoriented” that eventually “you might wake up one morning and not know where you are.

All of the beekeepers did state that they believed that the scientific research was not conducted with a large enough sample (4 hives) and 1 beekeeper specifically used the phrase, “junk science”.

The actual study was conducted at a University in India. The credibility of the study has been compared to a scientific study performed by Junior High students.

Here’s a link to the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) study: http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/25may2010/1376.pdf

The study states that there were two fifteen minute calls per day during peak the period of peak bee activity (1100-1500 hours) for two weeks between February and April. I’m not exactly sure what that works out to. Does that mean they did it twice a day for two weeks for a total of 14 times per week or was it only two weeks between February and April (which is 3 months)?

In any case, keep your cell phone. What’s the moral of the story? Whatever you do, do NOT tape your cell phone to the inside of a hive with the sole intention of calling it twice a day for 15 minutes for a two week period between February and April.

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