Pesticide Exposure to Native Bees in Agricultural Landscapes

Science Center Objects

There is a lack of knowledge and understanding of how widespread use of pesticides may affect bees as they move across a diverse agricultural landscape. Studies have shown there are impacts to honey bees due to exposure to pesticides including neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides, but the effects of these compounds on native pollinators are largely unknown.

Habitat quality and quantity are metrics currently being used to better understand ecosystem services the USDA Conservation Reserve Program provides for native pollinators. However, there is limited information on native bee health as a result of pesticide exposure. The overall objective of this study is to understand the occurrence, accumulation and potential effects of pesticides on native bee populations in agricultural landscapes. This information is the first step in determining if native bees are experiencing the same level of population declines in agricultural areas as honey bees and if pesticides might be implicated.