A detrimental consequence of industrial growth has been the steady increase in heavy metal pollution which has major, negative impacts on living organisms. Heavy metals still pose a significant health threat, despite the implementation of many strategies to reduce pollution. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible effects of zinc on the accumulation of some heavy metals in honeybees. Groups totalling 15 hives of Apis mellifera were included in this study. Group A was fed sugar syrup, Group B was fed sugar syrup with Cu, Cd and Pb, and Group C was fed sugar syrup with Cu, Cd, Pb and Zn. Food stocks, number of mature worker bees, environment and colony management were standardised across the 15 hives. The data demonstrated that the co-administation of zinc to honeybees, exposed to heavy metals reduced Cu and Cd concentration in tissue samples, but had no effect on Pb concentration. Furthermore, Zn dietary supplementation was effective in reducing both the suppression of dopamine production and the negative effects of heavy metals on dopamine. The results of our study suggest that zinc supplementation in the diet of A. mellifera has a beneficial effect by reducing the cellular accumulation of some heavy metals.
Key word: Environment, honeybee, heavy metal, toxicity, zinc.
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