This is what happens when there are no bees

A few years ago we planted fruit trees: apricots, pears and plums. Every second year, the trees yield a lot of fruit. This should have been one of the good years, but it won’t be, because there have been very few bees to pollinate the blossoms.

In April the trees were a lacy froth of blossoms, promising an excellent harvest. But blossoms that aren’t pollinated drop off the trees, while pollinated blossoms develop into fruit. You need honeybees to pollinate these trees, and there weren’t many about this year. Most of our blossoms fell off, so we won’t have much fruit—hardly any, in fact.

This time of year, the land should be humming with flying insects: bees, hoverflies, wasps, beetles, butterflies and moths. It isn’t, though. The problem is not pesticides; this land hasn’t been sprayed in over 50 years, and our neighbors don’t spray either. This is an island, many areas are wild, and yet the insects are disappearing everywhere. The thing is, we have more insects here on this land than we have seen in many other places, because we are as far from cell towers as you can get on this island. We do a lot of walking, and we have observed that areas nearer to cell towers have even fewer insects than we do.

The problem is not pesticides; it’s cell tower radiation. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell towers, Wi-Fi and wireless devices is an odorless, invisible toxin more potent than any pesticide, and it’s ubiquitous. In the 30 years since wireless technologies were invented, insects have declined by about 75%. The rate of decline has accelerated with each new generation of wireless technology, as more and more cell towers have been erected.

There have been almost no studies of how EMR affects insects outside the laboratory, but in 2016 an interesting little study of pollinators, “Electromagnetic radiation of mobile telecommunication antennas affects abundance and composition of wild pollinators”* was done on the island of Lesbos. The authors found that cell tower radiation was causing bees and other pollinators that nest above ground to decline, while certain wild bees and wasps that nest and breed below ground (hence shielded from EMR) were not declining. Most pollinators, including honey bees, nest and breed above ground.

Insect declines are a global phenomenon, and you only have to look at gardening websites to realize how serious this lack of pollinators is becoming. These days, all the gardening websites give advice on how to hand pollinate your crops. You shouldn’t need to do that. That’s nature’s job.

You can probably manage to hand pollinate a small vegetable garden, but large-scale commercial farming cannot be done this way. No pollinators equals crop failure. For the consumer, it means sky-high prices for the few available fruits and vegetables, and eventually a complete lack of fruits and vegetables to buy. When that happens, the world will starve. Riots will break out. People will kill each other for a stalk of broccoli or an apple. It’s a grim prospect.

Advocates of wireless technology seem to think insects aren’t necessary. They’re busy inventing tiny wireless drones to do the work of bees, as if there could ever be enough of them to pollinate not only food crops but also all the wild flowers and plants that fill our world. Imagine a spring without flowers. Is this the future?

Wireless technologies are killing the insects. Without the busy hum of thousands of flying insects, the pollinators, our world will die, and so will we. Our nearly-barren fruit trees, so rich in promise a few weeks ago, are a warning of what will happen if we do not stop wireless technologies now.

*To read the study, go to

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301647025_Electromagnetic_radiation_of_mobile_telecommunication_antennas_affects_the_abundance_and_composition_of_wild_pollinators

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