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Title: Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees

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.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
PNL-SA-11016; CONF-8305115-2
ON: DE83016830
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: 6. world congress on air quality, Paris, France, 16 May 1983
Research Org:
Montana Univ., Missoula (USA). Environmental Studies Program; Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (USA)
Country of Publication:
United States
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)