Wireless radiation affects insects

Honey bees pollinate most of the foods we eat, so are vital for human survival. But bees, and other insects, are under threat and there is evidence that their numbers are reducing. Not only might this trend lead to the extinction of many insect species, but it will reduce populations of animals further up the food chain and affect the production of food.

One of the reasons this is happening is thought to be wireless (radiofrequency) radiation.

Research review

In a new paper, Alfonso Balmori has reviewed research that has been conducted on the link between exposure to power-frequency fields and wireless radiation and the decline of insect species.

He said, ‘Insects are especially sensitive to electromagnetic radiation’, possibly because they possess a similar sense of magnetoreception to birds, and that there has been evidence that that they are negatively affected by exposure for over half a century.

Some of the harmful effects on bees (from power-frequency and wireless sources) include:

  • loss of queen cells
  • changes to weight gain of hive
  • poor survival in winter
  • changes to propolisation
  • changes to flight, foraging and feeding
  • changes to short-term memory
  • causing worker piping signals which can mean disturbance or preparation for swarming
  • reduced egg-laying speed of queen
  • no honey or pollen in a colony by the end of exposure
  • lower weight of honeycomb
  • increased mortality.

According to Balmori’s review, harmful effects have also been observed in other insect species.

‘As a result of most of the studies carried out, EMF radiation can be a problem for insects and for their orientation … and both laboratory and field studies on different invertebrate species have shown this,’ he said.

Balmori believes that 5G radiation could pose an even bigger problem because the wavelength of the signal will be closer in size to that of the insects’ bodies, increasing the amount of radiation they absorb.

He recommends employing the precautionary principle and considering the impacts on insects before rolling out new technologies.

(Balmori, A, ‘Electromagnetic radiation as an emerging driver factor for the decline of insects’, Science of The Total Environment, vol 767, 1 May 2021, 144913;

What you can do

Reduce your impact on insect populations by reducing your use of wireless technologies, which require the installation of wireless base stations to support them.

What else you can do

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If you’d like more information, you can download our March issue of EMR and Health here.