Electromagnetic fields emitted from power lines disturb honey bees

Electromagnetic fields emitted from power lines disturb honey bees

A honey bee gathering pollen from California poppies


Electromagnetic fields emitted from transmission towers, corresponding to these supporting overhead energy strains that carry energy from energy vegetation to cities, impair the pollinating skills of honeybees. This degradation may have a big influence on biodiversity in these environments.

Honey bees typically depend on pure electromagnetic fields (EMFs) to navigate their setting – they’ve a particular magnetosensing system of their stomach. A rising physique of analysis means that publicity to synthetic EMFs could be complicated for honeybees, generally inflicting them to vanish on their manner residence from foraging, and in some instances even leaving whole colonies with out sufficient foragers to outlive.

Gabriel Ballesteros At Talca College in Chile and colleagues, 100 honeybees (Apis mellifera) to completely different ranges of high-voltage, low-frequency EMFs in a laboratory for 3 minutes at a time. In comparison with honeybees uncovered to low ranges, honeybees uncovered to extra intense EMFs produced about 50 p.c extra warmth shock proteins – these molecules that usually come out with excessive warmth defend cells from stress. The researchers additionally noticed a big lower within the expression ranges of genes related to the bees’ foraging, reminiscence formation and navigation skills.

The researchers additionally noticed honey bees in Quinamávida, Chile, and in contrast populations in areas with lively or inactive high-voltage towers. They discovered that for honeybees chosen near lively transmission towers, warmth shock protein counts doubled after simply 5 minutes. Honeybees close to lively high-voltage towers additionally visited the encompassing California poppy vegetation (Eschscholzia californica) solely one-third of these not uncovered to EMFs.

“Bees have been avoiding flowers close to overhead strains,” Ballesteros says. “They sort of fly in the direction of the flowers, however then they like to remain away.” He says plant populations in the identical areas are additionally much less numerous and ample.

This is probably not the entire image, in keeping with Henry Lai and colleague B. Blake Levitt on the College of Washington in Seattle, which research the results of EMFs on vegetation and animals. They are saying the examine checked out just one kind of EMF publicity within the wild, however these days it is uncommon to search out an setting with solely a single supply of EMF. For instance, mobile phone antennas that emit radio frequency radiation are generally mounted immediately on excessive voltage transmission towers, so honey bees are sometimes uncovered to a number of frequencies. Even emissions from the researcher’s cell telephones might make a distinction in the event that they have been in lively calling mode, and the researchers did not be aware whether or not there have been cell stations close by. Levitt and Lai additionally be aware that the examine doesn’t point out whether or not area areas close to the towers have been examined for pesticides which can be generally used to maintain such areas freed from vegetation, which might have an effect on honeybees.


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