Content of heavy metals and metalloids in bees and bee products from areas with different degree of anthropogenic impact

I. Zhelyazkova, S. Atanasova, V. Barakova, G. Mihaylova

Abstract. Sample taking was carried out in the active bee season of 2010 (June – July) in order to make a comparative analysis of the content of some heavy metals and metalloids (copper Cu, zinc Zn, lead Pb, cadmium Cd, nickel Ni, cobalt Co, manganese Mn, iron Fe) in the body of bees (Apis mellifera L.), fecal mass, bee products (honey, pollen, wax) and sunflower flowers in areas with different degree of anthropogenic impact. The study includes two settlements in Stara Zagora region: the town of Gurkovo – an area with low level of anthropogenic impact; the village of Bratya Kunchevi – an area with established anthropogenic impact (working stone quarry on the territory of the village). Accumulation of the studied heavy metals and metalloids in the bee fecal mess is observed and high level of accumulation in excrements is exhibited by lead (1:2,3 – 1:4,0), cadmium (1:1,6 – 1:1,9), nickel (1:4,2 – 1:4,3), cobalt (1:1,6 -1:2,0). The biobarrier function of the bee organism is proved as a result of which heavy and toxic metals such as lead and cadmium are efficiently excreted by the organism through the fecal mass. It is established that Fe content is of higher values in the bee body, pollen and wax in the station village of Bratya Kunchevi (compared to the samples in the town of Gurkovo). A possible reason for the reported high quantity of iron in the analysed samples of the village of Bratya Kunchevi could be the working stone quarry on the territory of the village operating a deposition of andesite tuffs (calcium-magnesium-iron silicates). Unsatisfactory indicator characteristics of bee honey for environmental quality have been established in areas with different degree of anthropogenic impact compared to bee organism and pollen.

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