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Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, L.) as Active Samplers of Airborne Particulate Matter.

Negri I, Mavris C, Di Prisco G, Caprio E, Pellecchia M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter.The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived.With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Koiné-Environmental Consulting S.n.c., Parma, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy) that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs). The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

SEM images of the fore wings partially covered with PM.(A, B) Fore wings of Sardinian worker bees displaying PM (bright spots) most concentrated along the costal margin lining the first branch of the radial vein and the apex. BSE images. Bar = 1 mm. (C) A detail of particles gathered along the first branch of the radial vein. SE image. Bar = 100 μm. R = radial vein; R1 = first branch of the radial vein; Rs = second branch or radial sector; R4 = fourth branch.
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pone.0132491.g003: SEM images of the fore wings partially covered with PM.(A, B) Fore wings of Sardinian worker bees displaying PM (bright spots) most concentrated along the costal margin lining the first branch of the radial vein and the apex. BSE images. Bar = 1 mm. (C) A detail of particles gathered along the first branch of the radial vein. SE image. Bar = 100 μm. R = radial vein; R1 = first branch of the radial vein; Rs = second branch or radial sector; R4 = fourth branch.

Mentions: In all specimens, a large amount of particles was observed on the fore wings (upper surface), along the costal margin lining the first branch of the radial vein and the apex (Figs 2A and 3).


Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, L.) as Active Samplers of Airborne Particulate Matter.

Negri I, Mavris C, Di Prisco G, Caprio E, Pellecchia M - PLoS ONE (2015)

SEM images of the fore wings partially covered with PM.(A, B) Fore wings of Sardinian worker bees displaying PM (bright spots) most concentrated along the costal margin lining the first branch of the radial vein and the apex. BSE images. Bar = 1 mm. (C) A detail of particles gathered along the first branch of the radial vein. SE image. Bar = 100 μm. R = radial vein; R1 = first branch of the radial vein; Rs = second branch or radial sector; R4 = fourth branch.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4492680&req=5

pone.0132491.g003: SEM images of the fore wings partially covered with PM.(A, B) Fore wings of Sardinian worker bees displaying PM (bright spots) most concentrated along the costal margin lining the first branch of the radial vein and the apex. BSE images. Bar = 1 mm. (C) A detail of particles gathered along the first branch of the radial vein. SE image. Bar = 100 μm. R = radial vein; R1 = first branch of the radial vein; Rs = second branch or radial sector; R4 = fourth branch.
Mentions: In all specimens, a large amount of particles was observed on the fore wings (upper surface), along the costal margin lining the first branch of the radial vein and the apex (Figs 2A and 3).

Bottom Line: In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter.The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived.With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Koiné-Environmental Consulting S.n.c., Parma, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy) that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs). The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus