Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Honey Bees are Effective Bioindicators

Honeybees are Effective Bioindicators of Environmental Pollution as they are Known to Exhibit the Chemical Impairment of Environment
By Dr N Nagaraja, Deccan Herald (India), 4/22/2008

… The level of environmental pollution can be determined by physical, chemical and bioindication methods. Recently, more attention has been given to living organisms as indicators of environmental health.

A bioindicator is an anthropogenically-induced response in biochemical or physiological parameters that have been linked to biological effects of an organism, population or community. Honeybees are active biological indicators, as they are known to exhibit the chemical impairment of environment.

Several ecological, ethological and morphological characteristics have made the honeybee a reliable ecological detector. They sample most of the environmental sectors like vegetation, water, soil and air. They supply a suitable amount of biological material to be easily sampled and analysed throughout the year. A forager bee flies about the surrounding area of about 4 to 5 km from the hive, especially picking up airborne particles with its body hair, while collecting pollen and nectar from flowers. It is because of this large-scale surface area that honeybees and their products have been proposed as suitable bioindicators of environmental pollution…

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