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Culprit found in honeybee decline?
Scotland Created: 28 Apr 2007
Following recent concerns raised by scientists regarding a possible link between mobile phone proliferation and a potentially cataclysmic decline in the number of honeybees found in the United States, mainland Europe, and the UK, a researcher at UCSF claims to have nailed down the source of the problem.
Joe DeRisi, a University of California, San Francisco biochemist credited with uncovering the deadly SARS virus in 2003, believes he may have located the root cause of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) in the world’s honeybee population, and it would appear to have nothing whatsoever to do with the spread of mobile phone radiation.
More specifically, the San Francisco Chronicle recounts that DeRisi’s tests of genetic material retrieved from one such instance of Colony Collapse Disorder in Merced County, CA, suggest that, “a once-rare microbe that previously affected only Asian bees might have evolved into a strain lethal to those in Europe and the United States.”
Nosema cerenae, a single-celled, spore-producing parasite was discovered by DeRisi and Dr. Donald Ganem during their laboratory tests on the genetic material – taken from deceased bees – and it is interesting to note that a research group based in Spain has also shown the parasite to be capable of laying waste to an entire beehive in little over a week of exposure.
However, while DeRisi’s findings could yet prove instrumental in discovering the true reason for massive declines in honeybee population on both coasts of North America, U.S. government scientists are claiming that Nosema cerenae was an early suspect in the spread of CCD, but was discounted as the source of the problem.

While the unexplained loss of a quarter of the nation’s 2.4 million honeybee colonies may not seem like an especially news worthy story, it perhaps becomes significantly more weighty when viewed from the perspective that most of the world’s food crops rely on honeybees for pollination.
Among those sceptical about DeRisi’s claims include Jeffrey Pettis, research leader for the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., who refutes Nosema cerenae as the reason for the plunging honeybee population, offering that large quantities of the parasite have been recorded in perfectly healthy hives as well as those which have been affected by CCD.
“Mostly we think of Nosema as a stress disorder of honeybees,” said Pettis, though he opted not to rule out the possibility of a more deadly strain of the parasite having evolved in the United States. By way of contrast to the view of Pettis, DeRisi points out that while many more tests will need to be carried out in order to prove or disprove the Nosema cerenae theory: “In our results, the control bees did not have it, and the sick ones were loaded with the stuff.”
Yet, beyond the concern of agricultural quarters, the fact remains that the theory related to mobile phone radiation essentially frying the navigational systems of pollinating honeybees has yet to be addressed fully. It has been reported that scientific tests have shown that the behaviour of honeybees changes drastically when the hive is situated near a mobile phone mast, or when even a single mobile phone is placed in the direct vicinity of the hive. Furthermore, honeybees seemingly affected by mobile phone radiation are found never to return to the hive, lost to die in the world while the hive suffers CCD as the queen and the immature remainder of her colony eventually die.
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Source: Monsters and Critics.com, Stevie Smith, 27 Apr 2007

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