Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 405, Issue 28, pp 9251–9264 | Cite as

Simultaneous determination of residues in pollen and high-fructose corn syrup from eight neonicotinoid insecticides by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

Research Paper


The neonicotinoids have recently been identified as a potential contributing factor to the sudden decline in adult honeybee population, commonly known as colony collapse disorder (CCD). To protect the health of honeybees and other pollinators, a new, simple, and sensitive liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry method was developed and validated for simultaneous determination of eight neonicotinoids, including acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, flonicamid, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam, in pollen and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). In this method, eight neonicotinoids, along with their isotope-labeled internal standards, were extracted from 2 g of pollen or 5 g of HFCS using an optimized quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe extraction procedure. The method limits of detection in pollen and HFCS matrices were 0.03 ng/g for acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam and ranged between 0.03 and 0.1 ng/g for nitenpyram and flonicamid. The precision and accuracy were well within the acceptable 20 % range. Selectivity, linearity, lower limit of quantitation, matrix effect, recovery, and stability in autosampler were also evaluated during validation. This validated method has been used successfully in analyzing a set of pollen and HFCS samples collected for evaluating potential honeybee exposure to neonicotinoids.


Neonicotinoid insecticides Pollen HFCS QuEChERS LC-MS/MS 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei Chen
    • 1
  • Erin M. Collins
    • 1
  • Lin Tao
    • 1
  • Chensheng Lu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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