Content of inorganic elements in honey and imago samples from different regions of Ukraine
Many recent studies have shown that bees and bee products can selectively accumulate heavy metals, radioactive substances, pesticides, and other contaminants. The work aimed to assess the ecological quality of beekeeping products and adult bees for the content of some inorganic elements. The amount of inorganic elements was determined using the method of X-ray fluorescence analysis. We experimentally proved that the qualitative and quantitative composition of inorganic elements in honey varies both in one area and when it is harvested from one species of honey plant. Sunflower honey has the ability to accumulate such inorganic elements as zinc (max 49.87 mg/kg), calcium (max 862.47 mg/kg), strontium (max 0.647 mg/kg), cobalt (max 0.147 mg/kg), chromium (max 0.589 mg/kg) and lead (max 1.09 mg/kg); in addition to the above, herbaceous honey can accumulate as most iron (max 10.27 mg/kg) and selenium (max 0.175 mg/kg); buckwheat honey has the ability to accumulate manganese (max 8.36 mg/kg). Collected from horticultural and forest crops, honey is relatively safe, as the content of most heavy metals (lead, chromium, nickel, strontium, selenium, and cobalt) was below the limit of the method but has the potential to accumulate iron and copper. The least dangerous in terms of the accumulation of inorganic elements is honey, which is collected from linden. The location of the apiary affects the accumulation of trace elements like zinc, manganese, and indirectly iron (Kirovohrad: max 22.10, 6.52, and 10.27 mg/kg, respectively, Zhytomyr: max 7.48, 8.64 and 13.20 mg/kg, respectively, Luhansk: max 7.69, 8.36 and 6.54 mg/kg according to the region). In environmental terms, the safest of the results of the analysis can be considered Poltava and Mykolayiv regions, and with the risk of heavy metal accumulation – Luhansk, Kirovohrad, Kharkiv, Sumy, Odessa, and Zhytomyr regions, as evidenced by the high content of inorganic elements in adult bees, in particular, from Luhansk and Sumy region.