Apidiag is a diagnosis tool using bee as a bio-indicator in order to measure environmental pollutants.
"With a thousand of flowers visited daily, bee is an amazing environmental sampler."
A bee colony daily forages around 10 million micro-samplings
Bees forage on a 3km radius around their hive:• On plants • In air • In water
Bees report pollution in environment really finely
Beehives can be set up in all environments, including the cities
A diagnosis can be established within one month1
Bees are well known by public and spread a positive image on which it is simple to communicate
CNRS/INRA studies have demonstrated that bees can be used to characterize contamination levels of xenebiotics in environment2.
1 Please refer to general conditions
2 Bulletin Technique Apicole, Special « Abeille bio-indicateur » N°144, Vol.35 (4) 2008
APILAB Bee Scale
Thanks to the bee scale developed by Apilab, communicate simply and efficiently to the public:
List of detectable pollutants
Find below a non-exhaustive list of pollutants detectable in environment thanks to bees :
We usually call Heavy metals all natural metallic elements which density is over 5g/cm3.They are often found in small quantities in environment. Toxicological impact of heavy metals depends on their chemical formula (called “chemical species”), concentration, environmental context, biodisponibility and possible absorption by trophic level. The most toxic of them are lead, cadmium and mercury.
Most researched elements are : Antimony (Sb), Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Chrome (Cr), Cobalt (Co), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Mercury (Hg), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb), Thallium (Ti), Vanadium (V).
PolyChloroBiphenyls (PCBs) are chlorinated aromatic compounds belonging to a family of 209 compounds. As they are highly lipophil and resist to hydrolysis, heat, acids and bases, they are persistent and non-metabolizable. PCBs behavior in environment and their effect on living beings are strongly depending on the chlorination degree of molecules. The more chlorinated PCBs are, the more they are lipophilic and tend to accumulate themselves in environment. 7 PCB congeners represent a large part of PCBs found in food from animal origin. They are named PCB indicators or PCBi. These are sought in priority by laboratories.
General formula of PCBs
Dioxins and furans are derivatives from PCBs. It exists 210 dioxin/furan congeners but only 17 of them are considered as toxic and are usually sought by laboratories.
General formula of dioxins or polychlorodibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDD)
General formula of furans or polychlorodibenzofurans (PCDF)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are molecules composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms forming at least two condensed aromatic cycles. The most toxic of them, such as Benzo(a)pyrene, are analyzed in priority. Depending on their nature and origin, PAHs are present in the environment in variable concentrations and mixed under more or less complex forms. Their solubility in water is usually low or very low. With this hydrophobic characteristic, these organic molecules can be easily adsorbed by soils and sediments. PAHs have also a strong potential of bioconcentration in organisms, in particular for those populating aquatic ecosystems. Thus, most of these molecules are persisting in environment.
Other examples of PAHs to analyze : fluoranthene, chrysen, benzo(a) anthracene, etc.
Particles or « dusts » are classified depending on their size: "coarse particles" or "PM10", with a size below 10µm, and "fine particles" or "PM2.5" with a size below 2,5 µm. Their emission can have natural or anthropogenic source, due to trafic, combustion, wood burning and energy transformation.
Pesticides represent all chemical products intending to protect cultivated plants from diseases and insects (insecticides, fungicides, etc.). There are several types of pesticides. For example, deltamethrin (pyrethroid family) is used as an active ingredient for preparation of agriculture, veterinary and domestic insecticides. In France, cultures treated with deltamethrin are principally: cereals, vines, fruits, vegetable crops and potatoes.
Other examples of pesticides to analyze: lindane, endosulfan, tau-fluvalinate, malathion, etc.
Chemical formula of deltamethrin
Radionuclides are chemical compounds with a natural or artificial radioactivity. Radionuclides can be found either under natural state or can be created artificially and obtained after bombardment of stable atomic nuclei by particle beams. While they are disintegrating, nuclei will emit either an electromagnetic radiation (Gamma rays, X rays) or a radiation constituted of particles (alpha particles, electrons) or even both.
Possible measures of radioactivity: measure of global radioactivity or research of specific radionuclides (Carbon 14 (14 C), tritium (3 H) etc.)
Emerging pollutants can be defined as compounds with no current European regulation, although they have been on the market since many years. The more often, these substances are in the environment since a long time but effects have never been correctly studied. These molecules are potential candidates for regulation, depending on their effects on health and their persistence at different levels of the environment. The European network of reference laboratories for monitoring of emerging pollutants (NORMAN) published an updated list of these compounds. There are substances from really various origins such as products used for industry (pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food-processing, etc.), pesticides, flame retardants, nanoparticles, etc. We can also mention Bisphenol A, potential endocrine disruptor, widely used in the plastic industry and lately pointed out by Medias.
Bisphenol A chemical formula