kathyp also posted this article and I gave a quick response on her thread. I have had a chance to find out some more. I have sent letters to Dennis and Malcolm in order to get an informed response. I have not received those replies yet.
However this article hit the wire, fark, slashdot, and boing boing just to mention a few.
I want to state this the two doctors mentioned may not be crackpots but one of them is an alarmist.
I stated in my response to kathp posting a link to this I thought it was FUD.
I now stand by that.
Neither of these to scientist is an entomoligist. Not that alone would be enough because one of them is a pathologist and epidemologist.
Neither of these guys has been working with a CCD research group. Again perhaps not enough by itself.
So lets go for some more fun:
Maury Markowitz pointed this out.
1) US and European phone systems operate on different frequencies
2) Europe has been using these frequencies far longer than in the US. Thus if there was any sort of "deployment pattern", it would start there.
3) Europe has higher cell use per capita and higher population density than the US. See (2)
4) Some of these frequencies have been heavily used in the past by high-channel UHF television stations with MUCH greater power (like 10,000 times). Ever wonder where channels above 70 went when cell phones started showing up? If it was something to do with these frequencies, all bees would have been gone back in the 70's.
and the most important one
5) these die-offs have been happening since people have been watching, long before there was any RF except for lightening
stevedcc pointed this out (not certain to the validity)
I for one am extremely suspicious about claims that bees are being wiped out by mobile 'phones. Here's an example of why:
US = 301,505,000 people in 2,718,695 sq miles = 111 people per sq mile
UK = 60,609,153 people in 94,526 sq miles = 641 people per sq mile
So, why is it that the US is suffering this major disappearance of bees when the UK isn't? Seeing as the density of mobile phone signals is going to be FAR higher in the UK? Ok, i accept that mobile phones in the UK work on different frequencies, but from what I've heard, the same thing is happening in Poland and Spain [earthfiles.com], which both have far lower population densities than the UK, and the same mobile phone frequencies. Of course, Poland and Spain import far more US Genetically Modified crops than the UK does.
dorpus posted this:
Speaking as a PhD candidate in biostatistics, the article quotes thoroughly discredited theories of the effects of cell phones on humans. Unfortunately, the media routinely quotes the opinions of obviously fraudulent scientists, or quotes others out of context, to sell the "conspiracy theory" angle to the willing masses.
Medical misrepresentation in the media has a long history -- in the 18th century, when a British physician developed a smallpox vaccine based on cowpox, newspapers at the time described people turning into cows, causing a national panic. Mistrust of vaccines lingered for decades afterwards. In 1999, anti-vaccine hysteria again surfaced when an extremely poorly designed study managed to be published in Lancet, claiming that 80% of children with autism had received the MMR vaccine. (80% of British children received vaccinations in the first place.) Lancet retracted the article, and years of wasteful research went into re-examining the vaccine theory -- plenty of other locations had rising incidences of autism despite reductions in vaccination rates. There is no controversy among epidemiologists today, but the media continues to describe this as a "controversial theory".
The incidence of autism has since leveled off, suggesting that the observed increase was just based on changes in diagnostic criteria and public awareness; the true prevalence has likely never changed.
The bee disorder in question is probably caused by viruses such as black queen cell virus or bee paralysis virus. Also, South African apiaries have had a problem with transposons (jumping genes), possibly viral in origin, that cause drone workers to produce children, disrupting the hive. Despite what you may have learned in high school, honeybees are a domesticated species with an unnatural pattern of reproduction in the first place. Wild bees do not always have strict hierarchies.
So maybe alone any one of these would not be enough but put them together and you start questioning the validity of the claims.
Now I am open minded. This story hit on the weekend and no one is going to really do a complete response for a couple of days so they can do a proper response. So maybe by the end of the week this report will be on it's way to stockholm and a noble prize. Or maybe not.
This is also why I am very relucant to post CCD stories, most of them are alarmist and unconfirmed. Everyone and their brother has a guess, but no one has a clue. Let's see what happens over the next week or so. This is going to at least be interesting to watch.