No need to jump off of your phone call the next time you see a bee buzzing by. Cellphone use, or more specifically, cell towers are not what is decimating the US bee population. According to a new study, the cause is a disease called Israeli acute paralysis virus. The bug bug didn't come from Israel though—and its cause is pretty damn ironic.
The virus is believed to have come from US agricultural firms importing bees from Australia to beef up pollination efforts in America. According to Canada's Globe & Mail:
The discovery of the virus has raised speculation that the United States inadvertently allowed it into the country through the import of Australian bees. This was allowed in 2004, at the urging of the agricultural industry, to boost the number of hives available for pollinating high-value crops such as almonds...The import of the bees coincided with the first reports of unusual problems in bee colonies.It is clear that the bee importers never saw the Australian vacation episode of The Simpsons.
As tragic as the problem is, it's good news for gadget lovers: our beloved phones are, well, off the hook. [Globe & Mail]