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Re: [beemonitoring] interesting article

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  • Doug Yanega
    If you look carefully at the paper, the *conclusion* is nonsense. Allow me to paraphrase a recent message I posted elsewhere - Favre s work is about the worst
    Message 1 of 2 , May 25, 2011
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      If you look carefully at the paper, the *conclusion* is nonsense.
      Allow me to paraphrase a recent message I posted elsewhere -

      Favre's work is about the worst I've ever seen published in
      Apidologie, and the reviewers and editors should be embarrassed by
      having it in print. That it has attracted such media atention is
      appalling, and makes me truly, truly sad for the state of science.

      For those of you who have not read the original paper, I can sum it
      up very easily:

      (1) Favre stuck an active cell phone inside some beehives, and an
      inactive phone inside some others as a control.

      (2) the bees made noises (piping) that suggested that an active cell
      phone inside the hive disturbed them, but an inactive phone did not.

      (3) Therefore, cell phones cause colony collapse disorder.

      This is not science. Up until point #2 it is fine, but the MONSTROUS
      leap from point #2 to point #3 is akin to blaming global warming on
      the decreased number of buccaneers. It doesn't help that the major
      citation Favre uses to back up his conclusion is an internet link to
      a newspaper report from India of an unpublished, unreplicated "study"
      that was based on a sample size of one colony. There is no credible
      evidence here (or anywhere else) to show that honey bee colonies die
      - more than expected by chance - in the presence of cell phone
      emissions. Favre *supposes* (without one concrete observation to back
      it up) that worker piping will cause unexpected swarming and colony
      losses - and this is not even *marginally* consistent with the
      symptomology of CCD. Of course, he has no evidence to show that these
      effects occur when a cell phone is, say, even 5 meters from a hive,
      and anyone familiar with the incredibly fast dropoff of power of
      emission with distance would realize that the experiment was
      conducted in an entirely inappropriate manner - a "straw man". I'll
      bet if I stuck a chain saw inside a hive while it was running, that
      would also disturb them - does that mean chain saws cause CCD?

      There *is* credible evidence that CCD is caused by a combination of
      viruses and fungi, opportunistically wiping out infected honey bee
      colonies that are put under stress. There is still *no* credible
      evidence that cell phones, pesticides, or genetically modified crops
      have anything to do with CCD, especially when you consider that CCD
      dates back to 1869 - as was even pointed out in the exact same paper
      that *coined* the name Colony Collapse Disorder, back in 2007. No one
      should assume that cell phone emissions, pesticides, and GMO crops
      have *no effect* on honey bees - but there is no evidence yet that
      links these things specifically to CCD, as Favre attempts to do.

      Sincerely,
      --

      Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
      Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
      phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
      http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
      "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
      is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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