Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure of Western Honey Bees

woensdag, 04 maart 2020 - Categorie: Onderzoeken

16 jan. 2020

Arno Thielens 1, Mark K. Greco, Leen Verloock, Luc Martens & Wout Joseph

1. Ghent University - imec, Department of Information Technology, Ghent, B-9052, Belgium
University of California Berkeley, Berkeley Wireless Research Center, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Berkeley, CA, 94704, USA

Scientific Reports, volume 10, Article number: 461 (2020)

Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) can be absorbed in all living organisms, including Western Honey Bees (Apis Mellifera). This is an ecologically and economically important global insect species that is continuously exposed to environmental RF-EMFs. This exposure is studied numerically and experimentally in this manuscript. To this aim, numerical simulations using honey bee models, obtained using micro-CT scanning, were implemented to determine RF absorbed power as a function of frequency in the 0.6 to 120 GHz range. Five different models of honey bees were obtained and simulated: two workers, a drone, a larva, and a queen. The simulations were combined with in-situ measurements of environmental RF-EMF exposure near beehives in Belgium in order to estimate realistic exposure and absorbed power values for honey bees. Our analysis shows that a relatively small shift of 10% of environmental incident power density from frequencies below 3 GHz to higher frequencies will lead to a relative increase in absorbed power of a factor higher than 3.

For the complete paper see the link on top. For the conclusions see:

Exposure of Western Honey Bees (apis mellifera) to radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields was studied using a combination of in-situ exposure measurements near bee hives in Belgium and numerical simulations. The simulations use the finite-difference time-domain technique to determine the electromagnetic fields in and around five honey bee models exposed to plane waves at frequencies from 0.6 GHz up to 120 GHz. These simulations lead to a quantification of the whole-body averaged absorbed radio-frequency power (Pabs) as a function of frequency. The average Pabs increases by factors 16 to 121, depending on the considered phantom, when the frequency is increased from 0.6 GHz to 6 GHz for a fixed incident electric field strength. A relatively small decrease in Pabs is observed for all studied honey bees between 12 and 120 GHz. RF exposure measurements were executed on ten sites near five different locations with bee hives in Belgium. These measurements resulted in an average total incident RF field strength of 0.06 V/m, which was in excellent agreement with literature. This value was used to assess Pabs for those honey bees at those measurement sites. A realistic Pabs is estimated to be between 0.1 and 0.7 nW for the studied honey bee models. Assuming that 10% of the incident power density would shift to frequencies higher than 3 GHz would lead to an increase of this absorption between 390–570%. Such a shift in frequencies is expected in future networks.

For impact on humans see refs. 28, 29, 30, 33 and 38 in this paper.

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