The presence of honey-producing bees is a strong indicator of a healthy environment, Source: Unsplash

Happy bees are the stamp of approval for Turin’s waste-to-energy plant environment

Happy bees are the stamp of approval for Turin’s waste-to-energy plant environment

The method of using the honey-producing critters as the litmus test of sustainability is known as biomonitoring

Turin’s waste-to-energy plant has treated more than half a million tonnes of waste since its establishment providing heating energy to 9,300 homes. But what about the immediate surroundings of the plant?

Apparently, it is so pristine that honey is produced there – about 20 kilos per year. That is possible because last year, two beehives that have welcomed around 120,000 bees, had been placed there.

The presence of the insects verifies the health of the environment in a method called biomonitoring. The experiment unfolds by monitoring the behaviour, the health and the honey production capacity of the bees as a way to determine various environmental parameters, such as air purity.

Turin’s circular economy gets buzzing

The bees in question are pollinating some 60 million flowers surrounding the plant owned by Iren Group, an energy provider company.

The biomonitoring was carried out by the operators of the Apicolturaurbana association, partners in the initiative carried out by Iren, who had access to the hives to carry out two separate analyses. On the one hand, they studied the behaviour of the insect community and recorded any changes and on the other, they collected samples of honey, bees, wax and pollen, to then analyze the presence of polluting or dangerous substances.

The analyzes carried out took into consideration numerous parameters and substances present in the samples, they made it possible to establish that the materials coming from the beehives are healthy, including the honey produced, which is therefore perfectly edible,” Iren reps explained, as quoted by News Italy 24.

The area taken into consideration, which corresponds to that of the bees’ flight area, extends up to three kilometres from the hives, confirming the healthiness not only of the area closest to the plant but also in the surrounding areas”.



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