Healthy Environment, Healthy Kids: Disappearing Insects
Do you know that many of the world’s insects are disappearing? A 2019 report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that Europe and the Americas have a 76 percent decrease in flying insects. Beekeepers are losing their bees to colony collapse disorder or unexplained disappearance. Thirty-five percent of the world’s plant crops require pollination by bees and other pollinators. Imagine no longer having apples, peaches, broccoli, peppers, oranges, coffee, cucumbers – the list of bee-pollinated crops is long. What can you do to help? Stop using pesticides! Neonicotinoids are used to kill harmful insects on vegetables and ornamental flowers. Some seeds are coated with neonics; as the plant grows, the entire plant is contaminated. Bees visit those flowers, bringing the contaminated pollen and nectar back to their hives. There is also evidence that glyphosate, the herbicide in Roundup (used to kill lawn weeds and available at local hardware stores), destroys the bacteria in bees that help them digest their honey. Bees are starving. Stop using insecticides and herbicides. Be sure the seeds you buy are pesticide free. Let your dandelions grow… and give bees a chance. This message is part of an ongoing educational project of Transition Town Manchester.