Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Dale Miller

Second Advisor

Robert Buchwald

Third Advisor

Peter Newton


This thesis analyzes existing policies regulating neonicotinoids at the federal, state, and municipal levels of the United States government. The research question examines effectiveness of these policies in mitigating honey bee colony loss among managed colonies within the U.S. Through a policy analysis, as well as a survey of beekeepers in Colorado, Oregon and New Mexico, existing policies are found to be ineffective in their approach, due to multiple loopholes and legal obstacles. This paper finds that while there are many stressors contributing to colony loss in the U.S., neonicotinoids have been found to harm honey bees significantly, and therefore warrant more regulation. Furthermore, current arguments against such regulations are found by this thesis to be invalid. Due to the inarguably vital role of managed honey bees in pollinating U.S. and global crops, the federal government is advised by this thesis to immediately stop the sale and use of neonicotinoid products, including imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, as well as improving other pesticide legislation at all three levels of government.