I read an article today that was rather chilling. It’s about the unexplained disappearance of thousands of crop-pollinating bees in the US – and the possible role played by cellphones.
It’s not something I’d generally think to write about on Mother City Living, seeing as it isn’t (yet) relevant to Cape Town, but my recent obsession with honey sparked an avid interest in the bees themselves.
And somehow after finding out more about the importance of the industrious little critters for agricultural pollination (and, therefore, the production of crops and other food) – the topic struck a chord.
Here’s some of what the article had to say:
It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the cellphone could cause massive food shortages as the world’s harvests fail.
They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by cellphones and other high-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world – the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops.
The numbers are astounding: 60% of commercial bees on the US’s West Coast have simply vanished; and a whopping 70% on the East Coast. And it’s spreading to Europe.
The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared “man would have only four years of life left”.
Doesn’t that make your hair stand on end?
Well, I’m no fan of cellphones. I dislike them intensely and use mine as sparingly as I can. They bother my head, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they confused the hell out of bees.
Here’s hoping we don’t scare our bees away too – firstly, it would mean even higher food prices than we already have to deal with and, secondly, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have my fix of splendiferous honey!