Are phone masts killing bees?
7/ 5/2007 AN investigation has been launched by Bolton Council to discover whether radiation from mobile phone masts is killing the town's honey bees.
Some scientists blame them for dwindling bee populations believing that it interferes with their ability to find their way back to their hives.Councillors in Bolton last week agreed to ask their planning improvement working party - made up of two councillors from each of the three parties on the council - to investigate.Coun Ebrahim Adia, executive member for development, said that the party meets quarterly to look at ways of improving the planning system.
"Our powers in relation to phone masts are limited but here in Bolton we are committed to promoting bio-diversity and ecology as part of the planning process," he said."The issue about the impact of mobile phone masts on bees was raised at the last council meeting by Coun Norman Critchley who also said that he had also heard that the radiowaves could also affect birds that are migrating.
Evidence "I think that as councillors we have a duty to look at all the evidence to assess the wide impact on radiation from mobile phone masts in regard to our planning policy."Academics at Landau University in Germany recently discovered that 70 per cent of bees exposed to radiation failed to find their way back to their hive after searching for nectar and pollen.
Last week, research carried out at the University of Vienna in Austria also discovered that two-thirds of the bee-keepers surveyed who had a mobile phone mast within 300 metres had experienced "unexplained colony collapse."
But John Charlton, of the Manchester Beekeepers Association, said that none of their members had noticed any decline yet."The association has an apiary in Heaton Park virtually straight under one of these masts and we've not noticed any radical changes there," said Mr Charlton, from Sale, who has kept bees for 50 years."I suppose that the masts are still a comparatively new technology but I have to say that I personally have not noticed any evidence of what these studies are finding."