Theses and Dissertations


Sena Isbilir

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Jonas G.

Committee Member

Brown-Johnson, Ashli

Committee Member

Hill, JoVonn G.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 1 year

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Life Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


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.