First data on the pesticide residues in samples of honey bees and food stocks in the Apis mellifera colonies from Bulgaria

Plamen P. Petrov1, Evgeniya N. Ivanova2, Nikolay G. Petkov1, Iliyana I. Arakelyan2
1 Agricultural University – Plovdiv, Department of Animal Science, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2 University of Plovdiv “Paisii Hilendarski”, Department of Developmental Biology, Faculty of Biology, Section of Genetics, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Abstract

Petrov, P., Ivanova, E., Petkov, N. & Arakelyan I. (2022). First data on the pesticide residues in samples of honey bees and food stocks in the Apis mellifera colonies from Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agri. Sci., 28, (Supplement 1), 84–90

Honey bees are insects of great biological, ecological and economic importance. They are characterized by high sensitivity to environmental pollution and are therefore successfully used for biomonitoring studies. This study presents primary data on the presence of pesticide residues in honey bee samples and food stocks in the honey bee colony – honey, wax and pollen, collected from territories in Bulgaria on signals of high mortality and severe loss of bee colonies. The collected samples have been subjected to chemical chromatographic analysis (via RESID 19/04 LC-MS / MS methods) to determine pesticide residues in the Central Laboratory for Chemical Testing and Control at the BFSA (Sofia, Bulgaria) and in the international laboratory PRIMORIS, Belgium). The performed chemical analyzes provide information on the presence in the tested samples of residues of a total of 27 pesticides, including insecticides, fungicides, acaricides, herbicides and growth regulators, which is a signal for objective danger of high mortality and severe weakening of the honey bee colonies in some areas in Bulgaria. The presented results reveal the need for future detailed studies of risk factors for the health and viability of honey bees, among which are the various chemical nature and mechanism of action of agrochemicals.

Keywords: honey bee colonies; pesticides; honey bee colony losses

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