Research Highlight

Cellphones & honeybees

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.70 Published online 31 May 2010

Following reports from the world over of sudden and mysterious disappearance of honeybee colonies, researchers have zeroed in on cellphone radiation exposure as one of the potential reasons behind such behaviour.

One possible reason of 'colony collapse disorder' among honeybees could be 'eletrosmog' as the insects have magnetite in their bodies which helps them in navigation.

The researchers compared the performance of honeybees in cellphone radiation exposed and unexposed colonies of Apis mellifera L in an apiary. Cellphones in call mode were placed on both sides of two bee hives for 15 minutes twice a day during peak bee activity period. The experiment was performed twice a week over two brood cycles. This was compared with control experiments with dummy cellphones.

The researchers found a significant decline in colony strength and in the egg laying rate of the queen bee. The exposed foragers were also negatively influenced — there was neither honey nor pollen in the colony at the end of the experiment.

The authors of this work are from: Department of Environment and Vocational Studies & Department of Zoology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.


  1. Sharma, V. P. et al. Changes in honeybee behaviour and biology under the influence of cellphone radiations. Curr. Sci. 98, 1376-78 (2010)