Glyphosate contamination: implications for honeybee Apis mellifera and consumers in Southeastern Mexico


Jovani Ruiz-Toledo
Daniel Sánchez



Objective: in a study conducted from June 2021 to May 2022 in two apiaries in southeastern Mexico, levels of glyphosate residues in pollen collected by bee Apis mellifera were analyzed to assess potential risks to both bees and humans.

Design/methodology/approach: the analysis used an immunoassay method after residue extraction using the QUECHERS method.

Results: the results revealed the presence of glyphosate in all samples, with concentrations ranging between 3.71 and 7.29 μg kg-1. However, risk analysis, as indicated by the pollen hazard quotient, suggested that these quantities did not pose a serious threat to bees or humans. The levels were within the limits of the acceptable daily intake (ADI), the acute reference dose (ARfD) and the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL).

Limitations/implications: although this study did not find any significant association between glyphosate and potential risks for both humans and bees, its persistence in the environment was demonstrated.

Findings/conclusions: Glyphosate levels at the study site were low, suggesting minimal risk to both humans and bees. However, the wide distribution of glyphosate in the region makes it necessary to emphasize long-term studies to understand the possible chronic effects of the pesticide on all species in the area.

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