Honeybees and Butterflies as Indicators of Radioactive Contamination; Impacts on Fruit Production

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In “Honeybees as Monitors of Low Levels of Radioactivity” Simmons et. al.(1990) state that”it is known that honeybees can be used to detect radionuclides present in the environment. Their mobility and their ability to integrate all exposure pathways (i.e., water, air, vegetation, and soil) could expand and add another level of confidence to the present monitoring program.” (This study was for the US DOE at Hanford Nuclear Site) [1]

In “Radioactive Bees–Honey Bees as Indicators of Radionuclide Contamination“, Timothy K. Haarmann of Los Alamos National Lab says that his experiments at LANL “verify that honey bees are indeed good indicators of radionuclide contamination when it is present in the environment“. [2]
Honey Bee flower public domain via wikipedia
McGee and McGarry of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland inform us that “Bees forage intensively over about 7 km2 visiting thousands of plants daily in their search for pollen…

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