Fine particle analysis (PM2.5 et PM10) on bees
What is a particle ?
Particles or « dusts » are classified depending on their size: « coarse particles » or « PM10 », with a size below 10 μm, and «fine particles» or «PM2,5», with a size below 2,5 μm.
Their emission in the environment can be natural or anthropogenic:
- Road traffic
- Fuel oil combustion
- Wood burnout
- Energy transformation
How does particles affect man's health ?
These particles can have immediate and long term effects on human health: asthma, allergies, respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, cancers, etc.
The French "Grenelle de l’environnement" fixed for 2015 a 30% decrease of PM2.5 fine particles emissions.
To do so, in July 2010, France established the particles program 2. This program intends to institute measures for domestic, industry, tertiary, transport and agricultural sectors to improve our knowledge on this matter.
How to analyze particles collected by bees?
Bees are excellent bio-collectors of pollutants. Particles in the air are caught by their bodies during their daily flights of foraging, thanks to electrostatism.
If we sample bees settled on an area of study, it is then possible to analyze particles bio-accumulated on their bodies.
We then use an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) which, in first instance, can identify the type of particle (mineral or organic), then qualify them with their atomic composition.
Interpretation of results is then done by spatial comparison with a control apiary.
Step 1: Analysis of particles bio-collected by a bee