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Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as Indicators of Radionuclide Contamination: Investigating Contaminant Redistribution Using Concentrations in Water, Flowers, and Honey Bees

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As part of ongoing research concerning the use of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., as indicators of environmental radionuclide contamination, samples of water, flowers, and honey bees were collected for 2 consecutive years. The samples were collected within a study site containing radionuclide contamination above background levels. The samples were analyzed for concentrations of radionuclide's, and the results were compared using rank sum, correlation, and trend analysis. Results were then used to assess the redistribution pathway of radionuclide's within the study site. Results indicate that honey bees receive the majority of their contamination directly from the source, a radioactive waste lagoon. The amount of contamination the honey bees receive from flowers during nectar collection appears to be insignificant compared to the amount received during water collection. Results did not demonstrate significant patterns of correlation or trend between the lagoon, bees, or flowers. Sample results showed a significant boo accumulation of cobalt-60 and sodillm-22 within the honey bees but no significant boo accumulation within the flowers.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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