ENVIRONMENTINSECTS

Bees can tell if our air is polluted

The environment has its ways of telling us about their state. We can actually know what the air was like years ago by looking at tree rings. Air pollution levels are decoded by the help of lichens. Now, scientists say that honey bees have their own tell, too.

A study in Vancouver showed that there are very little amounts of lead in honey harvested around urban areas. Being agents of pollination, bees are known to pick up metal traces. Aside from lead, the honey contains a miniscule amount of iron and zinc, which is not harmful to people unless ingested in large amounts.

This technique of using honey as a pollution detector can also reveal where the honey came from. For example, lead samples from volcanoes, rocks, and other natural resources are different from what the honey in the study contained, which made the scientists assume that it came from man-made a source, probably from ship fuel burned on the docks of Vancouver.

With the use of technology like this, it will be easier to see the interconnectedness of every species and it would also be less hard to monitor our environment.

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Agriculture Monthly magazine is the Philippines' best-selling magazine on all things agriculture. It is packed with information and inspiration on how to make the most of your farm or garden.

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