Various cups filled with varying amounts of small pellets of pollen.
Pollen pellets, sorted by color for pesticide residue testing.

Dr. Kim Stoner and her team have published pesticide residue results from their pollen analysis work.

To understand which ornamental horticulture plants bees were visiting, the team had set out honey bee hives in the middle of environmental horticulture plant nurseries. The honey bees would leave the hive and collect pollen from the surrounding flowers; upon their return, a pollen-trap would collect the pollen from the honey bees so that it could be analyzed by researchers.

The pollen gathered from honey bees was used to reveal which plants the bees were visiting (that information is still forthcoming), but it was also used to reveal how much neonicotinoid pesticide residue was present in those plants.

Upon analyzing the pollen for pesticide residue, the team found that nearly all of the collected pollen had very low levels of pesticide residue, with some big exceptions coming from one specific nursery. To find out how they tracked down the exact plants species responsible for the high pesticide residues in that one nursery, see their blog post on Entomology Today. To read the paper they published on this analysis, follow the link below to find the paper on our Resources page.

Researcher: Dr. Kim Stoner

States: CT

Link to Abstract and Research Article