Particulate matter collection by honey bees (Apis mellifera, L.) near to a cement factory in Italy

Marco Pellecchia, Ilaria Negri*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

11 Citazioni (Scopus)


Industrial activities play a key role in the economic well-being of a country but they usually involve processes with a more or less profound environmental impact, including emission of pollutants. Among them, much attention has been given to airborne particulate matter (PM) whose exposure is ubiquitous and linked with several adverse health effects mainly due to its size and chemical composition. Therefore, there is a strong need to exploit monitoring systems for airborne PM able to provide accurate information on the potential health hazards and the specific emission sources for the implementation of adequate control strategies. The honey bee (Apis mellifera, L.) is widely used as an indicator of environmental pollution: this social hymenopteran strongly interacts with vegetables, air, soil, and water surrounding the hive and, as a consequence, pollutants from these sources are translated to the insect and to the hive products. During the wide-ranging foraging activity, the forager bee is known to collect samples of the main airborne PM pollutants emitted from different sources and therefore it can be used as an efficient PM sampler. In the present research, PM contaminating forager bees living nearby a cement factory and several kilometers away from it has been analysed and characterised morphologically, dimensionally and chemically through SEM/EDX. This provided detailed information on the role of both the cement manufacturing activities and the vehicular traffic as sources of airborne PM. This may indeed help the implementation of appropriate preventive and corrective actions that would effectively minimize the environmental spread of pollutant PM not only in areas close to the plant, but also in more distant areas.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)e5322-e5322
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Cement factory
  • Honey bee
  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Non-exhaust emissions
  • Particulate matter
  • SEM-EDX analysis
  • Vehicular traffic


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