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Insect decline linked to mobile phones?  RSS feed

 
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I am very worried about not only the honey bees disappearing but the serious decline of butterflies, bugs and all insects in general.
Do you remember the windscreen of your car being very dirty from all the smashed bugs and insects on a longer car Journey when you were a kid?
How many butterflies there was back then?

Pesticides and agriculture are often blamed but even places far from conventional agriculture like national parks have less insects.
Or do they not?
We live in a pretty wild, natural location and i notice we also don't have many insects.

According to a study there is 80 percent less insects now than in the early 80's.
I met a beekeeper in Ireland who is 100 percent convinced that the bees are dying because of the mobile phone waves.
Recent studies seem to confirm this.
So the question is:
Could the massive decline of the insects be caused by Wireless technology?

 
pioneer
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They could be.  I wonder if the problem occurs in really remote areas without cell towers?  Other global impacts on them could be climate change/variability, diseases brought to the region by invasive bugs and probably others. 

Do you have a link to the recent studies that seem to confirm the Irish beekeepers belief?
 
Philip Heinemeyer
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https://inhabitat.com/its-official-cell-phones-are-killing-bees/

https://en.reset.org/blog/are-mobile-phones-killing-honey-bees-03272017

http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/07/01/why-are-bees-dying-your-cell-phone-may-hold-a-clue/

I have to admit that i didn't research this much yet but what struck me is that if the bees are severely affected maybe many more other insects are too.
And let's face it: They are constantly increasing the power of the signals, building more towers and wanting to get rid of every last hole with no reception!
 
Mike Jay
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Interesting...  I don't know much about cell towers but at least in two of the studies (maybe the german one as well) the issue arose when a cell phone was near the hive and in active transmit mode.  I have to admit, I get disoriented, fiesty and stop making honey when someone is near me gabbing on the phone.  Hopefully cell phone coverage over the broad landscape is a drastically tinier issue.  But I'm sure it doesn't help to have signals bouncing around for the bees, bugs or us.
 
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Some good news, Eu banned some neonicotinoids.
https://www.ecowatch.com/bees-neonicotinoids-ban-europe-2563782231.html
I am very nervous as well about the decline, i notice a serious decline in swallows where I am in a natural parc in France. Used to be loads more, but there is no insects, and just like you mentioned, no splashes on carwindow. I don't know if there is one factor involved in the insect decline, why would it be one thing only? My take is that it is all of the habitat destruction by industrial mono cultures, the poison they use on their pathetic weak crops, the killing of the soil microbiology by chemical fertilizers, the soil erosion following the deforestation causing the desertification, the climate chaos and the 24-7 carpet bombing by a hundred thousand unknown substances by industry, the emptying of the seas by overfishing, the acidification of the oceans, the desertification and the melting of the ice caps combined, with a jolly pinch of radiation.
Who knows? It's all one mad experiment. Permaculture the only answer.
Rare are those who really seem to be bothered by it all,the masses mesmerized blankly staring at their phones bussying themselves with fitting in,in a system that is careless and unaware of a biological future.
Bit by bit people around me change their ways, me included, i hope it's not too late, luckily gardening is such an exciting all encompassing adventure.
 
pioneer
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While I certainly think that anecdotal evidence exists to support the idea that the electromagnetic wavelength that cell phones use may have ill effects on bees and other bugs, when I see information like this I think it’s published to distract the people from other things that really are killing bees and other insects. And Philip, I want to be clear I’m not attacking you or your post. There are companies & their trolls out there using the news & the internet to make sure we, the people, are distracted and confused about what’s really going on.

Philip Heinemeyer wrote:
According to a study there is 80 percent less insects now than in the early 80's.



It’s interesting you mentioned the figure of the 80% decrease in bug populations since the 1980’s, as that’s about the time that ag-industry really started to push/encourage the use of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. I’m going to select one of these ‘cides, and that’s glyphosate. Below is a chart showing the use of glyphosate in metric tonnes & american half-ton measurements. This image is from a paper titled Trends in glyphosate use in the united state & globally, from here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044953/ It shows how the use of glyphosate (Roundup) went from 635 metric tonnes in 1974 to 125,384 metric tonnes in 2014. It’s an astronomical increase, I imagine the number has increased even more in the last four years, and this is just one chemical of thousands that are used in agriculture.

Again I think it’s possible cell phones may have something to do with it, but I think there are many more proven culprits to blame for our unfortunate insect decline.

Screen-Shot-2018-04-27-at-8.18.55-PM.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2018-04-27-at-8.18.55-PM.png]
 
pioneer
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I live where the nearest cell phone tower is more than 30 miles from me.  There is no cell phone coverage.

We do not have many bugs.  I have always assume that there is nothing here to attract them.

We do have plenty of pollinators; bees, bumblebees, moths and we also have harvester ants.

I do feel that the bugs on windshield are from swarms that the cars just happen on.  This last year it was reported that many Monarch butterflies met their demise this way.
 
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I looked at the various "studies" in the links. Unfortunately they each hit multiple criteria for bad science. Lack of control groups, small sample sizes, conclusions that are not supported by the data they collected etc...

This is an excerpt from one of those links. Red is my emphasis. The other studies all have similar flaws.

"The researchers fitted cellphones to a hive and activated them for specific lengths of time. After three months of the experiment, honey production ceased, the queen laid half as many eggs, and the hive population dropped."

A sample size of one is impossible to draw any meaningful conclusions from. There is no baseline to compare against, no control group, not attempt to monitor or account for external factors. At best a single piece of data like this might indicate that future research might be fruitful, but to draw a strong conclusion from one piece of data is flawed.

Then there is the time period. Non-beekeepers will likely read that three month period and conclude that something serious happened. However this is not necessarily the case. Beekeeping is strongly seasonal. Queen bees stop laying altogether during winter, and slow down considerably between later summer and Autumn. During these periods the population of a colony will naturally shrink. This is how the colony conserves its resources during winter. Beyond that, all queen vary. In my own apiaries I expect to see considerably variability from one hive to the next in terms of the factors they describe, and I expect to see variation within a hive month to month.  In my region for example, my honey flows come in two short but strong bursts. I would not expect honey production to be maintained at a steady rate through the year, because the nectar availability doesn't work that way. The linked article goes on to directly blame all these "problems" on the fact that they were exposed to radiation from phones which substantially misrepresents the evidence they have collected.

Further more, every study of this type I have seen exposes bees to radiation levels vastly in excess of any they are exposed to in a normal setting.  Placing a mobile phone inside a hive is in no way comparable to their exposure levels in the environment.

Now this is by no means isolated to this topic, but it seems to come up whenever radiation and bees are mentioned together. Google searches come up with articles like these - and there are quite a lot of them - but there is not hard evidence of harm that has stood up to serious scrutiny in a properly conducted trials.

What we likely should be concerned about is a decline in insect populations (not honey bees which have increased over the past 20 years) which seems to be mostly tied to changing land use. Monoculture cropping turns vast swathes of lands into deserts as far as insects are concerned. There is no nectar or pollen for insects in 100 acres of wheat.

 
Philip Heinemeyer
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Here is a link to the study done in germany:
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809

75 percent decline of insects in the last 27 years.

Insect decline is unfortunately a reality that no one can any longer deny.
No one seems to care though and since they play a huge part in all ecosystems many other animals will follow and already are following.

Maybe it is because of agriculture and the pesticides.
Agriculture has created massive areas of monoculture with very little biodiversity.
Maybe mobile phones and Wireless technology is to blame.

Fact is that it's happening, that nobody seems to care and we don't really know why.
People need to find out why this is happening and how we can stop it.

 
Philip Heinemeyer
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Thank you all for your posts!
I know this is a depressing topic but ignoring it won't make it better.
I urge you all to research a bit and to talk to your friends and family about it.
Mainstream media is not reporting about this enough.
One thing is for sure:

Permaculture favours biodiversity,offers habitats for all wildlife and is a way to live on this planet in peace!
 
pollinator
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I suspect the vast majority of the decline is linked to insecticides and not cell-phones.
 
pollinator
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Occham's razor.

Maybe it's a specific type of electromagnetic radiation. Maybe it's all anthropogenic electromagnetic interference. Maybe it has nothing to do with us, and smaller lifeforms are more susceptible to UV levels ramping up as the poles flutter a bit.

All these ideas have the same lack of evidentiary support in common.

But what we do know, as pointed out quite well in the earlier chart, was the amount of data quantifying the levels of poison sprayed into the bees' environment over the decades.

I encourage anyone with the lab cred necessary to conduct the kind of proper experimentation required to vet these other theories, because it would be really good to base our decisions on some kind of, well, evidence.

-CK
 
Chris Kott
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I just found this.

Article on concerns about EM radiation and insect and plant life

Now this will get a lot of pushback from those who consider constant internet connectedness to be not only an inalienable right, but a necessity for survival, but what I think would be a good idea is, for instance, WiFi zones. An illustration of this would be what I want for my homestead. I want internet access, but I would limit WiFi to certain areas within and around the house. I have no need for the internet when I'm sleeping, so the bedroom can easily be off-limits. I would want spots around the property where I could stop and use the internet, answer emails, make posts on Permies, check an online planting app or something, that sort of thing.

The vast majority of any property I own won't need WiFi blanketing it, so why would I bother, and why risk it, considering the known ill-effects to plant and human biology.

I do wish that there was an electronic Faraday Cage, that I could set up to block external EM radiation, without blanketing the area in an inversion of the same EM field.

I also think that, if someone were to develop an EM shielding technology, something that would allow us to direct signals where we want them without blanketing vast areas, that would be very useful.

I get to wondering about the effects of the EM fields generated by the new streetcars and private electric vehicles on the streets these days. I really don't like the fact that my AM radio screws up any time I am too close to one, but only recently have I wondered if anything more harmful than aggravation is going on.

I just had a great idea: what if, instead of carrying around our phones, we tethered them to fixed points at home and at work? Those tethers could carry the signal, and the phone would never get lost or stolen, either! And in that way, we could finally be free of these meddlesome devices, with these people constantly on the other end, suffering from the same delusion that I am forever at their beck and call!

I think we may be on to something here.

-CK
 
James Freyr
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Chris Kott wrote:

I just had a great idea: what if, instead of carrying around our phones, we tethered them to fixed points at home and at work?

-CK



I miss landlines. I kinda want to ditch my cell phone and just have a landline, but my wife wants me to keep my cell phone in case my truck breaks down on the side of the road, or she breaks down on the side of the road and I'm outside of the house. I get it, both valid points, but I remember the 80's where if we were out of the house, we were unavailable. And we all survived.
 
pioneer
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James Freyr wrote:And we all survived.



*We* might have all survived, but not everyone did. 
 
His brain is the size of a cherry pit! About the size of this ad:
One million tiny ads for $25
https://permies.com/t/94684/million-tiny-ads
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