Mumbai Mirror had reported in July 2009, with the help of an EMR-measuring agency, how five of the seven important locations in the heart of the city - like Mantralaya, Marine Drive, World Trade Centre and Breach Candy hospital - threw unacceptably high levels of mobile tower radiation. The city has a very high number of cellphone towers, and residents have complained about health hazards.

Loss of habitat

Khot points out that honeybees need a specific habitat for their survival. "The large fruit trees that once adorned the city have disappeared, the architecture of buildings has changed, the lofts and crevices have given way to glass facades. Where will the bees make hives now?"

Wildlife biologist Anand Pendharkar says while Mumbaikars enjoyed their fix of honey, they were quick to destroy hives.

No food, no nectar

Pendharkar says, "Mumbai's residents prefer ornamental plants. As a result, 60 per cent of the city's green cover is comprised of exotic trees. For honeybees, these are as good as 'plastic' as they cannot draw nectar from them. Trees like Jamun, Jackfruit, Neem, Mango and flowers like Champa and others provide nectar for the bees. But we hardly find these varieties in Mumbai any more.”


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