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Title: Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees

Abstract

Each year thousands of chemicals in large quantities are introduced into the global environment and the need for effective methods of monitoring these substances has steadily increased. Most monitoring programs rely upon instrumentation to measure specific contaminants in air, water, or soil. However, it has become apparent that humans and their environment are exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals rather than single entities. As our ability to detect ever smaller quantities of pollutants has increased, the biological significance of these findings has become more uncertain. Also, it is clear that monitoring efforts should shift from short-term studies of easily identifiable sources in localized areas to long-term studies of multiple sources over widespread regions. Our investigations aim at providing better tools to meet these exigencies. Honey bees are discussed as an effective, long-term, self-sustaining system for monitoring environmental impacts. Our results indicate that the use of regional, and possibly national or international, capability can be realized with the aid of beekeepers in obtaining samples and conducting measurements. This approach has the added advantage of public involvement in environmental problem solving and protection of human health and environmental quality.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Montana Univ., Missoula (USA). Environmental Studies Program; Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
5765760
Report Number(s):
PNL-SA-11016; CONF-8305115-2
ON: DE83016830
DOE Contract Number:
AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 6. world congress on air quality, Paris, France, 16 May 1983
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AIR POLLUTION; BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS; BEES; LAND POLLUTION; WATER POLLUTION; MONITORING; POLLUTANTS; SOILS; ANIMALS; ARTHROPODS; HYMENOPTERA; INSECTS; INVERTEBRATES; POLLUTION; 500200* - Environment, Atmospheric- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (-1989); 510200 - Environment, Terrestrial- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (-1989); 520200 - Environment, Aquatic- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Bromenshenk, J.J., Dewart, M.L., and Thomas, J.M. Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees. United States: N. p., 1983. Web.
Bromenshenk, J.J., Dewart, M.L., & Thomas, J.M. Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees. United States.
Bromenshenk, J.J., Dewart, M.L., and Thomas, J.M. 1983. "Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5765760,
title = {Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees},
author = {Bromenshenk, J.J. and Dewart, M.L. and Thomas, J.M.},
abstractNote = {Each year thousands of chemicals in large quantities are introduced into the global environment and the need for effective methods of monitoring these substances has steadily increased. Most monitoring programs rely upon instrumentation to measure specific contaminants in air, water, or soil. However, it has become apparent that humans and their environment are exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals rather than single entities. As our ability to detect ever smaller quantities of pollutants has increased, the biological significance of these findings has become more uncertain. Also, it is clear that monitoring efforts should shift from short-term studies of easily identifiable sources in localized areas to long-term studies of multiple sources over widespread regions. Our investigations aim at providing better tools to meet these exigencies. Honey bees are discussed as an effective, long-term, self-sustaining system for monitoring environmental impacts. Our results indicate that the use of regional, and possibly national or international, capability can be realized with the aid of beekeepers in obtaining samples and conducting measurements. This approach has the added advantage of public involvement in environmental problem solving and protection of human health and environmental quality.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1983,
month = 8
}

Conference:
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  • The objectives are to provide a tool for assessing pollutant distributions and the effects of pollutants on living systems. The potential of bees as pollution monitors was studied by examining bees exposed to toxic metals near a smelter in Montana and bees in the area surrounding a hazardous waste disposal site near Puget Sound, Washington. Levels of toxic metals in the bees and brood survival were examined. It was concluded bees were, indeed, suitable indicators of pollution levels. (ACR)
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