Cell Phones Killing Bees?
BENTON CITY, Wash.- A new study reveals a possible cause for the decline in Honey Bee populations.
For months, they've thought it might be a fungus, or mites killing off the bees, now, believe it or not, increased use of cell phones is the latest thing some scientists think might be causing a problem.
In 20 years of business, McLaury Apiaries has never seen things this bad.
This year alone, two-thirds of their supply has died, and no one knows why.
"They just disappear," said Travis Wise, one of the company's Beekeepers.
Several ideas have bounced around, a lack of nutrients in the hives, too many pesticides, and a fungus that might attack the bees' homes are all possibilities.
"We open them up and there's a funny smell inside the hives," said Daniel McLaury, a third generation Beekeeper at the company.
Now, a new study out of Germany says cell phones might be causing the problem.
The study says cell phone frequencies are disorienting the bees so much they can't find their way home.
Agriculture brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to Washington each year, that's why orchardists are worried the falling populations could soon hit them.
"Without them, we've got no commercial crop," said Kent Waliser, General Manager of Sagemoor Group Orchards in Pasco.
A big hit to an economy dependent on agriculture, and the problem could lie right in the palm of your hand.
It's important to note, the German study hasn't proven anything, but it is some of the most surprising research yet on a problem orchardists say needs to be solved to keep the industry alive.