Deadly Contaminant


Selenium, a metal used in industrial activities like mining and petroleum refining, causes mortality and delayed development in the honeybee, a crucial pollinating agent. Selenium enters its body through contaminated pollens and nector. It is not clear how the metal harms it, but compared to other insects the bee, during the larval stage, is more susceptible to selenium. Low quantities of selenium are beneficial to several animals but higher levels are toxic. Selenium contamination is now considered a global problem. It pollutes soil, water, plants and even gets deposited on hives. 


Down To Earth, November 2013