Examination of honeys and flowers as soil element indicators

Nikolett Czipa, Gerda Diósi, Clive Phillips, Béla Kovács

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Detection of soil element deficiencies is time consuming, requiring a major commitment for field work and analysis. Bees concentrate some elements in their honey which could allow soil element concentrations to be predicted without having to take large numbers of soil samples. We measured 14 element concentrations in soil, sunflower, acacia flower and honey samples from two different regions of Hungary. Across sites, the elements with significant correlation coefficients between honey and soil concentrations, in descending order of probability, were Cu > Ba >Sr = Ni > Zn > Mn = Pb >As. Bioconcentration from soil to honey was similar for areas with acacia and sunflower flowers. In the macroelements, it was the greatest for K, S and P and least for Mg and Na, and in the microelements, greatest for B, then Zn, then Cu, then As, Mo and Sr and least for Fe, Ba, Mn and Pb. It is concluded that in acacia and sunflower-growing regions, honey can give an accurate estimate of soil element concentrations for Cu and Ba and provides relevant information for Sr, Ni, Zn, Mn, Pb and As.

Original languageEnglish
Article number412
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017



  • Bioconcentration
  • Element
  • Flower
  • Honey
  • Soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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