bees and smart meters

A couple of weeks ago published a comment received from a friend about the behaviour of her bees after the installation of SMart Meters.  This week, she had commented of a large die-off of her bee population, attributing this to the smart meters.

The following is a commentary from her neighbor, who is our local “bee guru”.  On a personal note, I have chosen NOT to join the bee keeper group he is speaking of.  It is made up of locals who are either “keeping” or are concerned about the plight of the bees as a reflection of the health of beings on this planet.  My choice not to join them was based on some fundamental differences in my POV of what our role is as “bee keepers”, along with the fact that I’m just plain NOT a joiner.

This message has also been edited, removing actual names as I am posting this without permission

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As a result of the messages to the group about one’s experience with the possibly negative effects of smart meters upon the hive of bees in her backyard, I have received many questions lately about smart meters.
I am concerned that smart meters COULD have harmful effects upon the health of humans, honeybees, and other living creatures. Because of those concerns, I chose to “opt out” of the smart meter installation. Another reason we opted out is that our analog electrical meter is located only about fifteen feet from our two backyard beehives. That was a bit too close for comfort.
That said, I myself have seen no direct evidence that smart meters have affected or are affecting any of the hives of honeybees that I am taking care of. There is a new smart meter within about one hundred feet of both of our backyard beehives. That meter was recently installed on a neighbor’s property. As far as I can tell, both hives and strong and healthy. They are bringing in plenty of yellow and red pollen this morning.
There are two other hives that I am taking care of here in the Verde Valley area that have had a smart meter installed within one hundred feet of their location. Both hives are “hale and hearty.” One of them was actually knocked over by a cow, but you’d never know it. Those bees are especially strong and resilient because one of my present students caught them in West Sedona with a pheromone lure: they’re Africanized (hooray!).
Therefore, I have not witnessed or experienced any direct correlation or cause to effect relationship between the installation of nearby smart meters and sudden changes to the health and well-being of four colonies of bees that I am taking care of (or trying to). The bees seem unaffected.
 
This anecdotal and inductive evidence does not refute the reports, but it does present a differing perspective. As you may have heard me say at our first official meeting on March 29, there are clearly many differences in background, philosophy, and practice in our group, and I think that we should respect, honor, and even cultivate the differences (as the bees do, when they swarm), while still finding common ground and while still working together on behalf of the health and well-being of the honeybee.
 I have been taught by my elders to think critically and skeptically about all notions of truth, including my own. I would be less skeptical about the possible harmful effects of smart meters upon honeybees if a scientific measurement could be taken of the electromagnetic radiation at ……’s hive location. There are meters that measure RF waves. I don’t have one, however. Perhaps the meter could measure the RFs that her bees are experiencing to see if the levels are, in fact, unusually high and potentially harmful to the bees. The same device could be used to test the RF levels of other hive locations, like my own backyard apiary (located only two or three hundred yards from that location). Perhaps these measurements would show profound differences, or none at all….
 
So, “color me skeptical,” and also concerned about the health and well-being of the hive of honeybees that Marianna is taking care of. I hope that the bees living in her backyard are resilient (as they usually are) and that they “shake off” whatever has been bothering them, whether it turns out to be smart meter RF exposure, or not.
 
This issue is certainly something that our group can discuss and explore together, maybe at our next meeting. There may be some of you who want to create a subgroup to do research into the effects of electromagnetic radiation upon honeybees. For now, my own main research interests are into pollen analyses of local honey (to see what bees eat) and into legalizing urban beekeeping here in the “AfroEuropean” Southwest.
 
I hope that this long message finds you and your honeybees well. From what I’m seeing, the main early springtime nectar flow has diminished, but local red tip photonias are in full bloom and may provide the energizing bridge the bees need to get to the mesquite and other bean family tree bloom, like locusts and catclaw acacias. The mesquite flower buds are emerging, but it looks like (at least at this altitude) that the flowers will not open for another two or three weeks. Where I used to have bees in east Flagstaff, the “bridge” flowers to the monsoon came from the lovely Russian olive trees that the old Mormon bean farmers planted as windbreaks in the 40s and 50s. Without the flowers from these “weeds,” the bees would have been too weak to gather the brief but intense nectar flow that comes from the monsoon. By the way, I’d like to award our first annual “NAOBAn” honorary hexagon to whatever genius Landscraper started planting red tip photinias in Sedona. Great job!
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