Apiculture and the environment the bee as biological indicator of pesticides in preliminary trials conducted in forli province italy

Celli, G.; Porrini, C.; Tiraferri, S.

Bollettino dell'Istituto di Entomologia della Universita degli Studi di Bologna 39: 231-242


Accession: 004770281

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As we have already seen in numerous studies carried out both in Italy and abroad, the bee has proved to be an excellent indicator of the level of pesticide and heavy metal pollution in the environment. The clearest indication given by the bee of the immission of pesticides into a certain territory are the mortality rates and residue levels. A programme of active monitoring using honey bees, part of the project Environmental health situation and financed by the Department for the Environment of Forli under the supervision of the Institute of Entomology G. Grandi, Bologna has been in progress for several years. This provides a constant flow of information on the environmental situation in the Forli district. There are 24 sampling stations scattered throughout the province, each of which is under the observation of a bee-keeper. Each station consist of two beehives, provided with a Gary cage. Each week the bee-keeper registers the mortality rate on an appropriate form. The critical threshold for carrying out chemical analyses is 500-700 dead bees per week. The processing of the 1983 data on the mortality rates and chemical analyses has enabled us to draw a highly detailed map of the hanger areas for bees which is divided into low, medium and high danger zones. In 19 samples, the products most frequently identified were fungicides (73.8%), insecticides (57.9%) and acaricides (5.3%).