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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Honeybee hyperbole revealed

The Minneapolis Star Tribune took time to debunk some of the more popular myths around Colony Collapse Disorder and this author must report that he's been outed. Cell phones? Nope. Four years of human life to go? Not so much. Here's a few of the juiciest items debunked:
A small German scientific study looking at a specific type of cordless phones and homing systems of bees exploded over the Internet and late night television shows. It morphed into erroneous reports blaming cell phones for the honeybee die-off, which scientists are calling Colony Collapse Disorder.

The scientist who wrote the paper, Stefan Kimmel, e-mailed The Associated Press to say that there is "no link between our tiny little study and the CCD-phenomenon ... anything else said or written is a lie."
Moldy would like to officially say: oops. One other popular myth is the quote attributed to Albert Einstein that humanity has four years left to live if bees die out.
It's wrong on two counts.

First, Einstein probably never said it, according to Alice Calaprice, author of "The Quotable Einstein" and five other books on the physicist.

"I've never come across it in anything Einstein has written," Calaprice said. "it could be that someone had made it up and put Einstein's name on it."

Second, it's incorrect scientifically, Pettis said. There would be food left for humans because some food is wind-pollinated.
See this post for more on the latest scientific study of CCD and the more reasonable hypotheses. And keep checking those facts!

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