Sonntag, April 15, 2007

Bienensterben und die Landauer Uni

Ich konnte es zuerst gar nicht glauben, aber die Landauer Uni ist tatsächlich auf BoingBoing (dem größten und erfolgreichsten Blog in den Weiten des Internet)! Und dann gleich noch ein biologisches Thema, nämlich das Bienensterben, das in den letzten Jahren weltweit sehr zugenommen hat.

Are cellphones killing bee colonies?

The world's bee colonies are dying mysteriously, and a study from Landau University suggests that mobile phones may be to blame. The colonies are subject to "Colony Collapse Disorder," (science-ese for "we don't know where all these bees have gone") and the disorder accounts for the death of anywhere from 50-70 percent of bee colonies. Since bees pollinate most crops, flowers and fruiting trees, the end of bees is seriously bad news for the world's food supply.

It's been long understood that bees respond to electromagnetic radiation. Dr Jochen Kuhn at Germany's Landau University has shown that bees don't return to their hives when cellphones are present. The study doesn't prove that cellphones are responsible for CCD, but it does provide evidence that mobile phones are implicated in the death of hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."

The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".

Wer sich jetzt wundert warum ich über die Uni Landau schreibe: Ich wohne in Landau, und nicht nur die Stadt ist eher klein, sondern auch die Uni. Studiert wird da zum Großteil Lehramt von Leuten aus dem Umland. Ich hätte also nicht damit gerechnet, dass in Landau an einem so "heißen" Thema gearbeitet wird - Respekt!

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