Pollution Monitoring of Puget Sound with Honey Bees

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Science  08 Feb 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4687, pp. 632-634
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4687.632


To show that honey bees are effective biological monitors of environmental contaminants over large geographic areas, beekeepers of Puget Sound, Washington, collected pollen and bees for chemical analysis. From these data, kriging maps of arsenic, cadmium, and fluoride were generated. Results, based on actual concentrations of contaminants in bee tissues, show that the greatest concentrations of contaminants occur close to Commencement Bay and that honey bees are effective as large-scale monitors.