A group of Chilean and Argentine ecologists led by Marco Molina Montenegro, a professor at the Talca University, confirmed that the electromagnetic fields of power lines seriously disrupt bee navigation systems.
This causes cellular stress in their bodies and prevents them from pollinating flowers.
The results of the study are published in the journal Science Advances.
The researchers observed the interaction of bees and flowers near power lines in the village of Kinawameda, Chile, and studied how the electromagnetic fields of power lines affect the levels of stress hormones in insects and how their behavior changes when exposed to magnetic fields created by power lines turned off or amplified.
The results of the study showed that the cellular stress protein Hsp70, found in the body of insects pollinating flowers and approaching power lines at a distance of 10-25 meters, increased twice as compared to insects approaching at a distance of 200-300 meters. from them. Bees that grew up next to power lines are three times less able to collect nectar and pollinate flowers.
Researchers believe that this negatively affects plants and leads to a decrease in their diversity, and also increases the chances of the death of bees and the extinction of entire hives.
In recent years, environmentalists and biologists have often reported very rapid declines in the numbers of hive and wild bees, as well as bumblebees. The reasons for their extinction are unknown, but there is speculation that it is due to global warming and the emergence of new diseases and parasites, such as mites of the genus Varroa, the DWV virus, and colony collapse syndrome, in which worker bees leave their hives in bulk.