It's been long understood that bees respond to electromagnetic radiation. Dr Jochen Kuhn at Germany's Landau University has shown that bees don't return to their hives when cellphones are present. The study doesn't prove that cellphones are responsible for CCD, but it does provide evidence that mobile phones are implicated in the death of hives.
The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.Link (via /.)
CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.
Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."
The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".
(Photo ganked from Flickr user Wagoldby's photo-stream)
Update 2: Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds has rounded up some skeptical responses to this story