Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Beehive model creation for use in determining radiation dose to beeswax and bee larvae

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  • Honeybees and honey combs are good indicators of environmental contamination and can be important for dose calculations. In the event of reactor accidents and nuclear weapon testing, the released radioactive materials are likely to be transported through various environmental pathways as well as by humans and animals, including bees. Due to their foraging behaviors, bees frequently pick up environmental contamination from multiple sources, including contamination that has been deposited on a flower or the pollen. This research responds to the public concerns about radioactive contamination in the environment. The objective is to develop a model of the honeybee hive using Monte Carlo N Particle (MCNP) computer code, and calculate absorbed fractions for multiple energies and multiple incident radiation types. Given the critical role that the honeybee plays in the ecosystem, this model would be valuable to the radio-ecological community for dose calculations in the environment. Through their daily routines of collecting pollen, the honeybee may contact radioactive material and subsequently contaminate its hive. The model described herein serves as a template for further development. Additionally, this research could be used to better understand the movement of nectar and pollen throughout the hive, consider partitioning of radionuclides in insects, and speculate how much radiation deposited on a flower or pollen is ultimately collected by bees.
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