Bees and cell phones don't mix says study - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Bees and cell phones don't mix says study

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A new study from India suggests electromagnetic waves from cell phone towers may disrupt the navigational skills of honey bees, decreasing their population, but East Texas experts are skeptical.

"It's probably something we shouldn't take lightly but some more research and we'll look at it," said Dennis Smith, a Gregg County Ag-Extension agent. "I think a lot of things go in cycles and I don't know too many people who put their cell phone next to a beehive."

The loss of honey bees could have an enormous economic impact world-wide.

But, local beekeepers don't put much faith in this latest study. They say bees are very resilient and they will find a way to come back.

"There has been no definite 'yes' or 'no,'" said Randall Bobo, a beekeeper. "As far as cell phones being a problem, I think a lot of people and other insects would have problems."

Over the last two decades, bees have survived parasite infections and intrusion from Africanized bees, but their numbers have rebounded in Texas.

"Bees are one of our major pollinators of crops especially our vegetable crops or fruit crops," said Smith. "They're very important pollinators out there."

"It's estimated that about a third of our food source is dependant on the honey bees pollination," said Bobo.

Whether technology is a threat or not, experts say the bees will find a way to survive.

"Bees are tough little creatures," said Smith.  "They find a way to survive. I think they're just uniquely made to overcome."

Local beekeepers say they have seen no evidence of any effects on bee populations from cell towers.

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