The much-reported spate of dying bee colonies, which some scientists predict could have enormous environmental consequences, could be caused by mobile phone signals.
Following extensive studies, Indian scientists have concluded that the signals can result in hives dissipating and bees dying off.
Members of the Punjab University used two hives to test whether mobile phone use would impact the chances of survival. Over three months two 15 minute calls were made daily to a pair of phones located next to one hive, while the other was kept free from mobile interference.
The bee population of the hive next to the phones began to behave erratically with changes to their patterns of activity clearly observable.
Confusion amongst over 30 per cent of the bees was registered every time one of the phones rang and even those that did not pause their activities would become disoriented and inefficient.
No unusual activities were detected in the other hive, which has led the scientists to infer that the microwave radiation emitted by mobile phones can have a negative impact on the bees' internal navigation systems.
"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," stated a report published in the Current Science journal.