With the increase in anthropogenic activities metal pollution is also increased and needs to be closely monitored. In this study honeybees were used as bioindicators to monitor metal pollution. Metal pollution in honeybees represents pollution present in air, water and soil. Concentrations of As, Cs, Hg, Mo, Sb, Se, U and V were measured. The aim of this study was to assess spatial and temporal variations of metal concentrations in honeybees. Samples of honeybees were taken at five different regions in Serbia (Belgrade - BG, Pančevo - PA, Pavliš - PV, Mesić - MS, and Kostolac - TPP) during 2014. Spatial variations were observed for Sb, which had higher concentrations in BG compared to all other regions, and for U, with higher concentrations in the TPP region. High concentrations of Sb in BG were attributed to intense traffic, while higher U concentrations in the TPP region are due to the vicinity of coal fired power plants. In order to assess temporal variations at two locations (PA and PV) samples were taken during July and September of 2014 and June, July, August and September of 2015. During 2014 observing months of sampling higher concentrations in July were detected for Sb and U in BG, which is attributed to lifecycle of plants and honeybees. During the same year higher concentrations in September were observed for As, Sb in PA and Hg in PV. This is due to high precipitation during the peak of bee activity in spring/summer of 2014. No differences between months of sampling were detected during 2015. Between 2014 and 2015 statistically significant differences were observed for Hg, Mo and V; all elements had higher concentrations in 2014. This is in accordance with the trend of reduction of metal concentrations in the bodies of honeybees throughout the years in this region.
Zaric, N. M., Deljanin, I., Ilijević, K., Stanisavljević, L., Ristić, M., & Gržetić, I. (2018). Assessment of spatial and temporal variations in trace element concentrations using honeybees ( Apis mellifera ) as bioindicators . PeerJ, 6, e5197. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5197