The present study was conducted in a cement production area in Al-Ahsa Province, in eastern Saudi Arabia. The study aimed to investigate the intensity of heavy metal contents at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 21 km from the cement factory by determining, quantifying and measuring certain heavy metal contents in honey, bee collected-pollen and forager bee samples from the hybrid Carniolan honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann colonies. Values of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and nickel (Ni) in honey, bee pollen and forager bees were variable and significantly dependent on the distance from the cement factory. The largest values of tested heavy metals were obtained from samples collected from the 1st location (3 km), except for Cu in honey, and Cu and Ni in forager bees collected from the 2nd location (6 km). In addition, these values were variable and significantly dependent on the type of product. The largest values of Mn, Zn and Cu were obtained from forager bees, while the maximum values of Fe and Ni were found in bee-pollen. On the other hand, harmful elements including lead (Pb), cobalt (Co) and chromium (Cr) were not detected in any of the samples. From results obtained in this study, it can be concluded that heavy metal pollution was most intense in zones closest to the cement-industry area. Finally, honey bees and their products can be used as an indicator of environmental pollution.
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