Wednesday, October 10, 2012

No Risk of Heavy Metals in Bee Pollen

Mark another victory for honeybees to collect only the "good stuff". Like humans going to the market for fresh produce, honey bees are selective about what they collect, whether it be pollen or nectar or tree resin. Similarly, even after the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, honey harvested in the area contained no radiation...

Study of the Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn Dynamics in Soil, Plants and Bee Pollen from the Region of Teresina (PI), Brazil
An AcadBras Cienc, 2012 Oct 4

The purpose of this study is to characterize native bee plants regarding their capacity to extract and accumulate trace elements from the soil and its consequences to the sanity of the produced pollen.

The trace elements Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn were analyzed in soil, plants and bee pollen from Teresina region (PI), Brazil, by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

Considering the studied plant species, Cu and Pb metals presented in the highest levels in the roots of B. platypetala with 47.35 and 32.71 μg.mL-1 and H. suaveolens with 39.69 and 17.06 μg.mL-1, respectively, while in the aerial parts Mn and Zn metals presented the highest levels in S. verticillata with 199.18 and 85.73 μg.mL-1. In the pollen, the levels of Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn vary from 5.44 to 11.75 μg.mL-1; 34.31 to 85.75 μg.mL-1; 13.98 to 18.19 μg.mL-1 and 50.19 to 90.35 μg.mL-1, respectively.

These results indicate that in the apicultural pasture the translocation (from soil to pollen) of Mn and Zn was more effective than in case of Cu and Pb, therefore, the bee pollen can be used as food supplement without causing risks to human health.

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