Explorative socio-environmental survey for honey quality assessment in six target provinces of Burkina Faso.

Tania Cencetti, Lorenzo Orioli, Issa Nombre, Gabriele Di Marco, Donatella Leonardi, Angelo Gismondi, Antonella Canini


Honeybees and bee products are optimal monitors for environment quality. Twelve honey and wax samples from six hives located in six different provinces of Burkina Faso, sited near agricultural crops, were analyzed. Two honey flow periods were taken into account: the main honey flow, during the dry season, and the second one, occurring at the end of the rainy season. Physico-chemical parameters (water, total sugars, hydroxy-methyl-furfural content, conductivity, pH and acidity) and residual pesticide analysis were carried out to verify honey quality. Melissopalynological analysis was conducted to establish the botanical origin of honey samples. Five samples were identified as monoflorals, with a predominance of Lannea microcarpa Engl. & K.Krause, Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn., Cassia mimosoides L. and Combretum Loefl. genus. Pollen profiles obtained by palynological analysis were compared with plant biodiversity present in the sampling area, which covered seven square kilometers. Ninety beekeepers were interviewed about their perception of the impact of agricultural pesticide use on honeybee colonies. As a first result, pesticides were absent both in honey and in wax samples. On the other hand, data showed that honey quality needed to be increased and beekeeping techniques improved. In general, further researches are recommended, to enhance the knowledge on the characteristics of Burkina Faso’s honeys and verify the specific impact of pesticides on Apis mellifera adansonii Latreille life-cycle and bee-products. The improvement of honey quality could ensure a best-selling price, opening new sale channels for Burkinabé beekeepers and farmers; at the same time, it could guarantee ecosystem pollination service and biodiversity conservation.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20172.654