Free access
Volume 36, Number 3, July-September 2005
Page(s) 403 - 409
Published online 07 July 2005
Apidologie 36 (2005) 403-409
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005027

Honey as a bioindicator for environmental pollution with SO2

Maja Ponikvar, Joze Snajder and Borka Sedej

Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

(Received 9 July 2004 - revised 19 October 2005 - accepted 4 November 2005; Published online: 7 July 2005)

Abstract - Honey was proven to be a highly sensitive bioindicator for estimation of the environmental pollution with SO2. A bee monitoring net consisting of 32 apiaries and covering an area of about 700 km2 was configured surrounding the Sostanj coal-fired power plant. The results of investigations revealed that the amount of sulphate determined in honey from this area correlated with total yearly emissions of SO2 observed by an electronic monitoring. When exhaust gases at the power plant were purified, a corresponding decrease in the amounts of sulphate in honey was observed. The proposed bee monitoring net is an example of using biomonitoring for tracing environmental pollution, which could be also applied to estimate the impact of NOx gases or to trace other pollutants.

Key words: SO2 / pollution / biomonitoring / bioindicator / honey

Corresponding author: Maja Ponikvar

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005