Victoria Oakes ’21 is majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Arabic Studies. As a McNair scholar, she was motivated during the summer of 2020 to study insecticides, looking at the relationship between wild bees, neonicotinoid use, and neonicotinoid policy in the United States. Victoria is also passionate about the Arab World, as she studied abroad in Jordan in fall 2019 and she is also the Arabic 103 TA for fall 2020. On campus, she is a member of Euphrates Institute and Arabic Club. After she graduates from St.
There are recent concerns with how honeybees are impacted by neonicotinoids, a class of neuro-active insecticides that are chemically similar to nicotine. However, it remains largely unknown how and to what extent neonicotinoids impact wild bee species, especially in the United States. Wild bees play a major role in pollination, so it is vital to develop more research on possible effects of neonicotinoids on wild bees. This study aimed to determine the geographic areas in the United States where neonicotinoids have the potential to cause a decline in wild bee populations. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to conduct spatial analysis on wild bee abundance, neonicotinoid residue detections, and state-level neonicotinoid policy. This research forms an important first step toward an understanding of the relationship between wild bee abundance, neonicotinoid use, and neonicotinoid policy in the United States. Additionally, it can help direct attention and future research toward regions of concern or regions lacking in data.