ACS and the University of Piacenza together for the biomonitoring with bees
There is also the contribution of ACS in the important project of research and environmental sustainability on pollination, pest control and biomonitoring with bees, conducted by the Department of Sustainable Crop Production of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza. As part of the Erasmus PLUS Project - From Seed to Spoon, the research team coordinated by Dr. Ilaria Negri is engaged in the study of the lethal and sublethal effects that pollutants, such as particulate matter and microplastics, can have on the health of bees and in the search for preventive and corrective actions, including pollination services in urban and suburban areas.
ACS, which has always been sensitive to environmental issues, participates by promoting the reproduction of the best climatic conditions for insects. Thanks to the ACS climatic chamber DY200, the researchers of the University of Piacenza are in fact able to incubate a frame of Apis mellifera brood and thus determine the best climatic conditions for their growth and promote the increase in production of an animal species so important for the habitat and for Research, but at serious risk of extinction.
In line with the project objectives, the ACS chamber therefore participates in the process of regulation, naturally present in all ecosystems, and in the control of pests. During their flights, insects, as Professor Negri explains, are strongly exposed to contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, radionuclides, VOCs, PAHs, dioxins and atmospheric particulate matter. These pollutants can cause serious damage to the health of bees, even leading to their death. Promoting and reproducing the adequate ecosystem that preserves them from high mortality by helping them to maintain their ethological and morphological characteristics becomes therefore fundamental as the first process of ecological detection. Bees, explains Negri, "are evolutionarily adapted to capture pollen, but by doing so they also attract other things, they get dirty with many inorganic particles and this is what we then analyze. By studying it, we can understand everything from the presence of heavy metals to the presence of minerals, up to understanding if these components are produced by human activities and how much these activities contribute to pollution".