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Bees can monitor pollution

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: DTE

 Context: Two recent studies have employed honey bees as effective biomonitoring tools to assess contamination in urban environments.

  • Honey bees were found to effectively map pollution patterns and reveal the most sensitive markers of contamination tracing toxic metals and antimicrobial resistance genes.


Bees’ foraging behaviour allows them to pick up contaminants, offering insights into pollution patterns. They can reveal the presence of toxic metals near pollution sources and help understand factors contributing to contamination. Bees also aid in assessing the spread of antimicrobial resistance genes, which can be ingested from water bodies. This approach provides a valuable tool for monitoring pollution and addressing environmental health concerns.

These studies highlight the importance of comprehensive monitoring to address environmental health challenges.