Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

A considerable amount of coverage has been given to what sounds like a far-fetched claim over the weekend: Some scientists theorize that the radiation given off by mobile phones and other gadgets is to blame for the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Last week beekeepers claimed that the phenomenon, which began in the U.S., has swept across Europe and is now entering the U.K. The theory goes that the radiation from mobile phones interferes with a bee's ability to navigate back to its hive, leaving their homes empty save for the queen.

The U.S. West Coast is thought to have lost 60 percent of its commercial bee population, and the U.S. East Coast is thought to have lost 70 percent. A limited study at Landau University found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby, which the scientists who carried out the study say could be a "hint." Reports are widely quoting Albert Einstein, who said that if bees were to disappear, "man would have only four years of life left." Anyone care to wager how long we'd have should mobiles disappear?

For more on the bee mystery:
- read this article from The Register