Bees as Bioindicators of Environmental Pollution with Metals in an Urban Area
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Politechnika Białostocka
Publish date: 2018-05-01
J. Ecol. Eng. 2018; 19(3):229–234
The commonness of metal contamination, even at considerable distances from industrial centers and intensively used economic areas, has become the interest of many researchers. The issue of evaluating the state of the environment with the help of living organisms has become a very important part in the control of the natural environment. Honey bee (Apis mellifera L) is a good bioindicator as it is inextricably linked to the natural environment in which it lives. The aim of the research, and at the same time the main assumption of the study, was to evaluate the effectiveness of honeybees (Apis mellifera L) as bioindicators for the presence of Cu, Cr, Zn, Mn, Fe in the urban area (example of Bialystok city). The study includes pilot studies covering three sampling periods (March, June and September 2015). Analyses of metals were made by ASA method. The results showed the presence of Cu, Cr Zn, Mn and Fe in all bees samples. An increased content of Cr in bees was also found, which may be the result of the presence of this element in the environment (air, soil, water, plants, pollen) and in the impregnation agent applied to protect wooden elements of the bee hive. The research showed seasonal variation of metals in bees bodies. The main sources of studied metals in bee samples seem to be motorization, industry, and municipal economy within the urban area. Statistical calculations showed a common origin of majority of studied metals. Bee studies for metals contents can be an important element of a bio-monitoring of changing natural environment as a consequence of anthropogenic activity.
Elżbieta Skorbiłowicz   
Politechnika Białostocka