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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Pollinator Health in Southern Crop Ecosystems Research » Research » Research Project #432804

Research Project: Determining the Impact of Non-target Applications of Herbicides on Bee Forage and Integrating Strategies to Minimize Negative Effects on Bee Health

Location: Pollinator Health in Southern Crop Ecosystems Research

Project Number: 6066-21000-001-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 2, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

1. Small-scale plots as well as large fields will be used to determine the effects of off-target applications of herbicides on various bee forage and both native bees and honey bees found in eastern Arkansas. 2. Both ground and aerial pesticide application strategies will be developed to minimize the off-target application of herbicides to preserve and protect bee forage and populations of native bees and honey bees in the Mid-South.

OBJECTIVE 1: Samples will be collected from different fields of soybeans as well as small-scale plots that have herbicide injury to determine exact rate of exposure. Samples of native bees from passive traps, and samples of pollen mass, nest substrate and bees (developing stages) from trap-nests will be categorized and processed in lab, and will be outsourced for herbicide and pathogen analysis. Honey bee hives will be placed near these same locations. Health of the hives will be monitored as well as herbicide residues within the hives will be measured. OBJECTIVE 2: Studies will be designed to determine how ground and aerial off-target application of various herbicides can be minimized especially during temperature inversions. These will lead to best management practices to minimize off-target injury to native plants utilized as bee forage that adversely affects pollinator health.