U.S. Geological Survey - Environmental Health
Neonicotinoid insecticides are effective tools used to control insect pests in urban and agricultural settings.
Their use has come under increasing scrutiny as one of several possible factors leading to unintentional loss of commercial honeybee colonies used to pollinate crops (Colony Collapse Disorder).
Our specialized teams of hydrologists, chemists, biologists, and geologists working in laboratories and field sites across the United States were the first to develop methods and document environmental occurrence of neonicotinoids in about half the streams sampled across the United States. Neonicotinoids were also found in or on native bees foraging in agricultural fields.
Questions We're Working On:
Is the health of native pollinators such as the Monarch butterfly threatened by neonicotinoid insecticide exposure?
Can the placement of conservation plantings be optimized to benefit agricultural production while also protecting native pollinators from exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides?