A Survey of Neonicotinoid Residue Levels in Native Bees and Soil of the Mississippi Black Belt Prairie
Item TypeGraduate Thesis
AdvisorKing, Jonas G.
Hill, JoVonn G.
Embargo TypeVisible to MSU only for 1 year
Embargo Lift Date2021-08-15
Reports of declining insect populations suggest that more research focusing on this phenomenon is needed, especially in pollinator insects. Climate change, habitat destruction, and usage of certain pesticides have all been implicated in insect decline. Neonicotinoid pesticides are highly toxic to bees, can have drastic sub-lethal effects on behavior, and are persistent in the environment; likewise, they have been implicated as a major factor affecting bee populations. However, there are limited studies on native bees regarding their interactions with neonicotinoids, even regarding simple questions such as exposure levels. In this study, we aimed to assess concentrations of common neonicotinoids in native bees and soils from a threatened habitat in our region, the Black Belt Prairie, by using a modified QuEChERS LC/MS-MS protocol. Our results showed that specific taxa of native bees- Bombus spp., Xylocopa spp., and Mellissodes spp. (Family: Apidae)- were exposed to neonicotinoids. In contrast, no concentration of neonicotinoids was detected in our soil samples.