Lori Zimmer

It's Official - Cell Phones are Killing Bees

by , 05/21/11

bees, cell phones, Daniel Favre, Bee decline, Lausanne, cell phone signals

Scientists may have found the cause of the world’s sudden dwindling population of bees – and cell phones may be to blame. Research conducted in Lausanne, Switzerland has shown that the signal from cell phones not only confuses bees, but also may lead to their death. Over 83 experiments have yielded the same results. With virtually most of the population of the United States (and the rest of the world) owning cell phones, the impact has been greatly noticeable.

bees, cell phones, Daniel Favre, Bee decline, Lausanne, cell phone signals

Led by researcher Daniel Favre, the alarming study found that bees reacted significantly to cell phones that were placed near or in hives in call-making mode. The bees sensed the signals transmitted when the phones rang, and emitted heavy buzzing noise during the calls.  The calls act as an instinctive warning to leave the hive, but the frequency confuses the bees, causing them to fly erratically. The study found that the bees’ buzzing noise increases ten times when a cell phone is ringing or making a call – aka when signals are being transmitted, but remained normal when not in use.

The signals cause the bees to become lost and disoriented.  The impact has already been felt the world over, as the population of bees in the U.S. and the U.K. has decreased by almost half in the last thirty years – which coincides with the popularization and acceptance of cell phones as a personal device.  Studies as far back as 2008 have found that bees are repelled by cell phone signals.

Bees are an integral and necessary part of our agricultural and ecological systems, producing honey, and more importantly pollinating our crops.  As it is unlikely that the world will learn to forgo the convenience of cell phones, it is unclear how much they will contribute to the decline of bees, and their impact on the environment.

Via Daily Mail

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  1. jiclark December 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Please, change the headline of this article! There’s nothing “official” about the study, no matter the degree of accuracy it contains. This kind of exaggerated headline is destroying the value of the internet. Tell the story, but don’t make broad baseless conclusions about it!


  2. Teri Davidson December 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    that is hogwash…it doesn\\\’t explain why so many dead bees are found at the hives.

  3. Tim Roberts December 20, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    It doesn’t prove anything without a comparison control group. However, assuming the heavy buzzing, leaving of the hive and disorientation were correlated to the phone calls of the mobile, it warrants an hypothesis. Someone also mentioned here that Mobile phones communicate all of the time with towers. They do, but the signal is not persistent and constant like a voice or data stream would be, so that means nothing to me. What you can’t do, is formulate a conclusion of truth from this study. It didn’t do a good enough job of it.

  4. trikesan@gmail.com December 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Will it be possible to breed bees with resistance to cell signals, or will we go merrily and convinently to our doom?

  5. Nancy Mac December 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    When UC Berkeley says it has enough evidence then and only then will I believe this about the bees. Don’t trust inhabitat’s sources too much.

  6. Sounding and Resounding... September 27, 2014 at 9:18 am

    […] In many ways, the ultrasonic repellent sounds workable to relocate insects, birds, and rodents away from the telephone poles, yet we live in an integrated global community and so there may be unintended consequences as alluded to above. For example, a Swiss study cell phones affected bees. When the cell phones were near or in hives, the bees sensed the signals transmitted when the phones rang, and emitted heavy buzzing noise during the calls which signaled to leave the hive, and confuses the bees and caused them to fly erratically. Basically, the signals reportedly cause the bees to become lost and disoriented. http://inhabitat.com/its-official-cell-phones-are-killing-bees/ […]

  7. Miss-Truth September 23, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been documented since 1880. Any mobile phones back then? No! So what else has changed? The weather – Climate Change causing droughts and colder longer winters? The over-commercialization of bees – farmed hives, single source commercial scale pollination, hence poor nutrition? Supplements (sugar) fed to honey bees. while the honey is removed? Mites? Over stress and over use of hives? Somehow I think this issue requires much more investigation, with strict double-blind scientific methodology employed instead of mere pseudo-science.

  8. Ozzieozzieozzie-oi-oi-oi September 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    K80theSHADE – 100% agree. This so-called study is not science. It is sensationalist garbage. \”Where was the control group? what kinds of phones were used? Are the results falsifiable? Will a regular cordless land-line phone cause the same disturbances? Will an alarm clock? An iPod?\”
    This is how all \’conspiracy theories\’ get traction, with moronic bogans lapping up the utter crap – poor deluded souls.

  9. Azan September 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    At my farm in Australia I have noticed more and more dead bees under blossoming trees (no sprays used). The bees appear weak. I put this down to the unusually cold and prolonged winter and bizarre spring weather. The peach trees now have less than half the fruit they normally have. The \’Dark Ages\’ – a period of prolonged cold-drought-abnormal deluges of heavy cold rain-etc saw the same thing. Mobile phones then? Don’t think so.

  10. Cell Phones are Killing... August 1, 2014 at 10:24 am

    [...] The signals cause the bees to become lost and disoriented.  The impact has already been felt the world over, as the population of bees in the U.S. and the U.K. has decreased by almost half in the last thirty years – which coincides with the popularization and acceptance of cell phones as a personal device.  Studies as far back as 2008 have found that bees are repelled by cell phone signals. Bees are an integral and necessary part of our agricultural and ecological systems, producing honey, and more importantly pollinating our crops.  As it is unlikely that the world will learn to forgo the convenience of cell phones, it is unclear how much they will contribute to the decline of bees, and their impact on the environment. ​Source: http://inhabitat.com/its-official-cell-phones-are-killing-bees/ [...]

  11. MarkmBha April 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

    WOW… cellphones?
    Never would have guessed.

  12. Hajju March 11, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Hi, can someone kindly summarise for me if mobile phones does harm the bees in any ways. The pros and cons. I have a debate this week and any useful information will be appreciated. Thanks.

  13. Hargobind Singh November 27, 2013 at 6:57 am

    People don’t want to admit that ENF is a major cause of CCD because you want to use your cell phone. There are many causes for CCD of course the pesticides are killing the bees. So are chemtrails, HAARP, Fracking, Mountain top removal, etc.. All of these are destroying the bees and all of nature, including tha most destructive animal, mankind.It really does look like the end of humanity, in this dimension any way. See you in the 4th dimension. :)

  14. TED Suckenstein October 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm


  15. K80theSHADE May 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    This is just the kind of gutter science which is smothering true scientific advancement. Where was the control group? what kinds of phones were used? Are the results falsifiable? Will a regular cordless land-line phone cause the same disturbances? Will an alarm clock? An iPod?
    Let\’s try some real science here, folks!

  16. justchad May 9, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Wow this is some really poor reporting. First the title, \”It\’s Official – Cell Phones are Killing Bees\” Then the first line, \”Scientists may have found the cause…\” As far as the cell phone, I know a bee and livestock farmer that A.) lives over a mile from any other houses and B.) Has NEVER owned a cell phone. He is suffering the same problems with his bees dying. He is in range of cell TOWERS so that maybe the issue, but it is not the phones themselves. How about finding a location that is in an area that does not have towers and see how bees do there. That would be a good first step to testing this theory.

  17. mysticalspirit April 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Guess people would rather go with their cell phones then bees….lets see if they are still thinking that when food starts to disappear….I don\’t have a cell phone nor do I want one and I live just fine…I don\’t need a phone pasted to my head 24 hrs a day to have a life…

  18. czman11 March 24, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Cell phones, unless placed near or inside the hive should not have any impact on the bee population. Bees may react to the small electric field omitted by the phone while in close proximity but other than that the only thing they omit are radio waves which are around since the invention of radio and later television. We have been getting bombarded with radio waves for decades and the bees were just fine. CCD is most likely linked to pesticides and zombie flies. I personally observed CCD of one of my hives and zombie flies (Apocephalus borealis) were definitely to blame. It is most likely that since bumblebee population declined, zombie flies needed some other host for their reproduction. It all comes back, of course, to pesticides since pesticides are the culprit in declining bumblebee population.

  19. Malik Mino Ereira January 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    if Einstein were to be alive to see the proliferation of cell phones to cells of honey making bees ,what a way his prediction catch us up

  20. shadowgex June 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Hmm. I see a title like “Its OFFICIAL, Cell Phones ARE Killing Bees” (caps added to emphasize those words).

    The study clearly states, “MAY have found the cause…”, “MAY be to blame…”, “MAY lead to their death…”

    This is what we call poor journalism. Not only have you completely exaggerated the story with your title, but you’ve outright lied – taking away all credibility. Furthermore, these studies conclude little other than the fact that cell phones in call mode irritate bees – no concrete conclusion was made regarding any other claim.

  21. mccuneprizm March 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    i would say it is important to consider that it is probably more likely a multiplicity of causes. 12 million bees died “in the hive” in florida recently. cell phones not the cause there. likely a pesticide. and monsanto is not off the hook yet, though they will now point the finger at cell phones.

  22. Kmclaughlin March 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm
  23. bustafin February 28, 2012 at 4:43 am

    for makofan!
    typical human arrogance to assume we know the reason for all mysteries…in case you didnt know it is also scientifically IMPOSSIBLE for bumble bees to fly – BUT THEY DO !!!

  24. Edistone February 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Please get the message. It is not a problem with the sound of the bell or ring-tone from a mobile which is the main problem. It is the EMR smog (Electro Magnetic Radiation) which disorients the bee. This is because the bee uses the same wavelengths to navigate with. It travels sometimes dozens of miles to collect pollen and it needs to find its way back to its own hive again. It uses the ancient phenomenon of EMR which we (Intelligentsia) have only just discovered—-! to do this. If that system is upset then the bee is a goner and all its mates too. Now the really BAD NEWS is that bees are responsible for 80% of pollination which means that our crops will be HIT – Big Time. So BIG in fact that if this keeps going on British Scientists have forecast that bees could be extinct within 6 years now. Einstein is reputed to have said that if that happened mankind could follow in as little as four years more. HUGE food shortages would follow as night follows day. There is no alternative to insect pollination.
    There is no way the bee can possibly adapt to this situation.

  25. aymabr February 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    No bees mean no food! Can we have a shut off your cell phone day, like the bike to work day or the shut off your lights day on Earth Day. Not like that will do any good anyway. OMG the teenagers won’t know what to do with themselves. It’s just like everything else, our society won’t do anything until they’re forced or it’s too late. We humans are extremely intelligent lets start using our brains. Instead we continue to stick our heads in the sand. I really believe the invention of the automobile was the biggest disaster of humankind leading to the destruction of our planet. Lets take care of our bees and all our other inhabitants we share this earth with.

  26. dogbiscut January 31, 2012 at 4:43 am

    The ignorance levels certain human inhabitants have regarding our planet is frightening. If you live in cement boxes, in concrete cities most of your life you lose touch with the REAL planet! There is a wide spectrum of frequencies, electro-magnetic fields, sound waves, laser frequencies etc used DAILY on the planet. The fact that we cannot SEE, TASTE, FEEL, OR HEAR them does’nt mean they do not exist, work, have consequences. I have witnessed rehabilitated wild animals pick up sound communication [telephones, high frequencies etc Before the device activates /rings. All insects navigate using these unseen frequencies. Just because we space travel, does’nt mean we understand the planet we live on.

  27. davek672 January 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Where can I read the actual study? I find this highly improbable. 1. Sound dissipates at a very high rate. The phone would actual sit on the hive to do this. 2. What was the rate of exposure? 3. Has this study been through proper pier review and show repeatability. Without review and repeatability this is useless information and bad reporting.

  28. sidrhon January 23, 2012 at 12:26 am

    its true that cell phones signals disorient bees and distort their navigation but dwindling population phenomena can happen only when you place a constantly ringing and active cell phone inside every hive in the world.

  29. chaosblessed September 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    If there is a 50% decrease in new workers being born, the cell phones are causing large percentages of the workers to leave town, and the only fertile female in the whole hive, as well as the hive’s maintenance itself, and all the male drones, rely on the fleeing and not being replaced worker bees, that spells out death for the colony. I’ve hung out with people that lived less than a mile from a cell phone tower before, annoying high pitched tweaking sound all hours of the day, cicadas in the area sound more like chain saws than normal cicadas, animals like chickens acting like some one broke their legs and trying to swim on the ground, and extremely high rural crime rate/mental illness rate. I’m inclined to believe there is something wrong with these towers. Plus if you look at the colony collapse time line in the United states it almost perfectly lines up with the adoption of the g3 towers. (Look up cell phone time line history for cell phone advancements and cross it with the cases and frequency of colony collapse in America, looks like a positive correlation to me). Bees use a few different methods of communications, including reading ultra-violet signals on flowers invisible to the naked eye, I can see how EM waves could be crossing their communications style and causing issues.

    Also of note is the colony collapse disorder’s effect is usually to have the queen and the babies present (indicating it isn’t a pathogen), but the workers having fled and no new children being born. Which is what this article and other studies have pointed to. *sigh*

  30. Raphael Werra September 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I am perpetually thought about this, thanks for putting up.

  31. BartholomewRandles September 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Of course EM waves affect biological systems. Nerve cells work by transmitting tiny electric currents. The most staggering thing is that people with supposedly scientific credentials dismiss this as wild conspiracy theory or some using some other put-down. I guess the festival of denial will continue for as long as we’ve wiped ourselves out. Still, so long as I can still use my cellphone – food is overrated anyway.

  32. Will_B_Keeping July 28, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I have been looking at this matter for over a year, now. Clearly, certain frequencies and/or radiation affect worker honey bees, plus others. I NEED MORE INFO! What frequencies? I work with wireless technologies and would like to work ONLY in safer ranges. I look all day long and simply can’t find real hard scientific evidence with “specs”. In big business, I need cold hard facts that would make most folks sick. That is what makes decisions change at the business table. I can’t exactly convince big wigs to go live hippie commune style. Each and every one of them would love to blame the whole thing on pesticides, toxins, mass-agriculture and even the greenhouse effect…

  33. dheffley June 21, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Has anyone noticed the three cell phone ads right underneath the article?

  34. Xocolatl June 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I guess we could look up the source published article for those of you who are still curious? I would love to see the synopsis too, because I’m too creep out at the idea of reading anything about insects.

    Anyway, if radio waves can be sensed by insects, I really wish we could make an effective repellent for cockroaches that way. I really do hate them.

  35. Flashwitt June 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I entirely believe that cel phones kill bees- or more specifically, lead them to be unable to navigate, which is essential to life for them, and for each hive, possibly also interfering with their ability to communicate, which we know they do often by “dancing” and body language.

    I don’t agree though that the article was well-written, in fact, it made me cringe in the first sentence.

    The article is titled “It’s Official” then in the first sentence goes on to state with great veracity that “Scientists may have found the cause…” and executes the painful phrase, “virtually most of the population…” Virtually most? You’re joking I hope. The author would have fared as well with the phrase “almost a lot”. I do hope that cel users don’t discount the possibility based on this rather poorly stated argument against cel use. It would be a shame if the author’s good intentions in writing were completely derailed by her lack of ability to argue a point effectively.

  36. zconfigure June 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I sent this article to someone who raises honey bees and who knows a lot about radio frequencies and they replied to me with this:

    Numerous apiasts and entomologists have concluded that CCS (Colony Collapse Syndrome) is being caused by a combination of factors including viruses, bacteria, fungi, insecticides, and the harsh conditions (and resulting stress) imposed on truckloads of honeybees that are transported around to large-scale commercial farms to pollinate those crops.

    By the way, I raise honeybees in my own backyard and have experimented with making and receiving mobile calls (1900 MHz PCS band) right next to my hive with no apparent effect whatsoever on my honeybees.

  37. a3lt June 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    re makofan: “But exactly how does an animal physcially interact with electomagnetic raditaion? What sensory organ is used to accomplish this physically impossible feat?”

    Interacting with electromagnetic radiation isn’t uncommon at all – in fact, we all do it. Electromagnetic waves are what light is comprised of, we usually don’t think of it that way. The reason that we don’t see the “light” produced by cell phones is that it is outside of the visible spectrum for us, but that doesn’t mean that no creature interacts with it. Another example – we can’t see ultraviolet light, yet it effects on humans have been heavily studied. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_radiation

  38. Fernweher June 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    You want more proof that cellphones kill bees? Look at this article I wrote months ago covering research done in India: Cell radiation caused hives to starve within 3 months, and reduced egg-laying by 50%. Bees navigate using tiny bits of magnetite in their body, and radiation stops that magnetite from being able to sense the normal magnetic field of earth and so, they can’t tell direction in the presence of radiation. THIS IS REAL SCIENCE. CELLPHONES REALLY KILL BEES. (source: http://liberal-propaganda.blogspot.com/2010/06/beeware-of-cellphones.html)

  39. dylanrahe June 2, 2011 at 12:47 am

    I read the article just now, and it says nothing about bees dying.

    The author put two phones in a beehive and had one call the other. One phone was connected by handsfree device to a radio, which was playing whatever was on the radio, I assume. The other phone was put on speakerphone. They then recorded the noises bees make when either the phones were off (standby) or calling one another, and showed that after 25 min. into the call, bees would begin to make “pipe,” a behavioral response to intruders or jarring of the hive.

    The author does not control for the noise emitted by the speakerphone, nor does he show any evidence of bee death following the experiment. Just piping. Granted, it’s interesting that the bees are able to respond behaviorally to electromagnetic radiation )if that’s true), but this really needs to be verified by behavioral studies (that is, not just recording bee noises) which include proper and rigorous controls.

    This could be interesting… but there’s a reason it’s published in an obscure specialist journal like Apidologie.


  40. daisyapplegirl May 31, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I’m so glad you people are smart and are calling out junk science until we have further quantifiable proof. :) I think I can totally hang in this community. Thank you.

  41. echo May 31, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Thinking of the dreamtime when ancient societies communicated over long distance through telepathy esp whatever. It is a shame society had to take the $wrong path to develop better communication in turn effect all living things.

  42. Eva Trott May 31, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    “Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care”

  43. sevaka May 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Some of these comments make me weep for the absolute ignorance of humankind and our seeming fanatic attempt to make life completely unsustainable on planet earth for humans. Bees = Food = Life. Do we want to talk, or do we want to eat? Do we want convenience or do we want life? We dismiss wholeheartedly that which requires us to change our ways, untill of course the global food famine leaves bodies on our doorstep. You can dismiss the science as “junk”. But anyone with a basic understanding of how the world works isn’t too surprised to discover that, yes, invisible vibratory frequencies travelling through the air, while unseen to humans, are OF COURSE affecting life, including bees!

  44. jimizhere May 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Bees are not the only “critters” being endangered by such man made frequencies,it has been proven that extended use of cell phones,especially the higher powered ones can produce frequencies that inadvertantly affect the human Brain by ‘throwing off’
    the normal biorythems of the body and therefore ‘confuse’ our
    already confused grey matter.nsrchof truth

  45. echo May 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Then the bees should be fine here as we cant even get a good mobile service where we are located. Bees should be banned from travelling into the cities. I never knew why they would want to go there anyway.

  46. makofan May 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    The “It’s official” in the title led me to think the article was mocking the incompetent boobs who chucked a cell phone into a bee hive and then called the number to watch the reaction.

    Then I read the comments.

    Yes, a ringing cell phone annoys bees. They annoy everyone. But exactly how does an animal physcially interact with electomagnetic raditaion? What sensory organ is used to accomplish this physically impossible feat? Or should we conclude that all man-made blinky lights and tinny noises must be hidden from bees?

    Quack-cure advertisements from the 1900s make us wonder how people were so ignorant back then. Honestly, the quasi-religous, junk-science of the modern green movement is far worse.

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