Chemosphere. 2016 Aug 24;163:525-534
Honeybees and bee products are potential bioindicators of the presence of contaminants in the environment, enabling monitoring of large areas due to the long distances travelled by bees.
This work evaluates the use of bee pollen as a bioindicator of environmental contamination by pesticides. A GC-MS/MS analytical method for multiresidue determination of 26 different pesticides in pollen was developed and validated in accordance with the recommendations of the European Union SANCO guide. Environmental monitoring was conducted using the analysis of 145 pollen samples collected from ten beehives in the experimental apiary of Embrapa in Jaguariúna (São Paulo State, Brazil).
Bioallethrin and pendimethalin were identified in four and eighteen samples, respectively, at concentrations below the LOQ of the method (25 ng g-1). Passive sampling with polyurethane foam discs was used as a control, and no pesticides were found. The detection of pesticide residues in seven samples (33%) from commercial apiaries in Ribeirão Preto (São Paulo State) confirmed the efficiency of the analytical method and the need for environmental monitoring for the presence of pesticide residues. The results demonstrated the potential of bee pollen as a bioindicator of environmental contamination by pesticides.