Scientists at Punjab University have found that mobile phones can cause drastic behavioural changes in bees - and may even lead to the death of hives.
Researchers in India conducted a test using two beehives, fitting a mobile phone on each side of one of the hive, and leaving the other hive free. Calls were made to the mobile phones twice a day for 15 minutes for three months.
Bees in the hive that was exposed to the mobile phones began to exhibit drastic changes in their day-to-day activities.
Whenever the mobiles rang, a third of the bees became confused, stopping their work, while those that continued to collect honey came back empty-handed.
The bees in the other hive did not display any abnormal behaviour.
The scientists suggest that radiation given off by the mobile phones may be hampering the bees' ability to navigate.
The report, published in the journal Current Science stated: “Increase in the usage of electronic gadgets has led to electropollution of the environment. Honeybee behaviour and biology has been affected by electrosmog, since these insects have magnetite in their bodies which helps them in navigation”.