Use of Honeybees as Bio-Indicators of Environmental Pollution in the Kurdistan Province of Iran

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The aim of this study was to determine the levels of these elements: Hg, Ba, Ca, Fe, Mn, Li, As, Na and K in the bodies of bees. Honeybee samples were randomly collected from apiaries located in four counties of the province of Kurdistan. The four counties were: Marivan, Bijar, Kamyaran and Ghorveh. The data obtained from this study showed that K had the highest concentration, followed by Na, Ca, Hg, Ba, Fe, Mn, Li and As. From among all the sites, there were no significant differences recorded between the concentrations of the different metals. The results did show that three minerals groups were able to be differentiated: elements that were very abundant, elements in a medium concentration, and trace elements. The first group consisted of K and Na, with a range from 41.857 to 47.871, and 12.653 to 16.183 ppm, respectively. The second mineral group was composed of Ca, Hg, Ba, and Fe, where Ca was the most abundant element (with a range of 9.077 to 10.058 ppm), followed by Hg (1.12-4.786 ppm), Ba (2.881-3.481 ppm), and Fe (1.050-1.727 ppm). The third mineral group was composed of Mn, Li and As. They ranged from 0.262 to -0.399, and from 0.043 to 0.101, and from 0.017 to 0.068 ppm, respectively.

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