Where have all the Bees and Butterflies gone?
What caused these insects to die out? Find out now!
Where have all the bees gone?
Since 2005, worldwide honeybee populations have plummeted, leading farmers, scientists, and beekeepers down a rabbit hole of anxiety and worry about the future of food. Experts believe the death of bees is due to a phenomenon dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which the queen and young bees remain but the worker bees die off in droves, making it difficult (if not impossible) for the hive to survive.
A full third of the American diet is dependent on pollination, and wild and domestic honeybees are responsible for 80 percent of pollination (No wonder they’re so busy!). Anyone with a yard can cultivate bee-friendly plants (such as honeysuckle, clover, and basil, for example), stop using garden pesticides and fertilizers, or (for the yard-owners and yardless alike) participate in a community garden. Last spring, the European Union instituted a two-year ban on all neonicotinoids in April after reviewing a comprehensive report about the dangers the chemicals pose.
With bans in the EU and Oregon in place, scientists and beekeepers will be able to understand exactly how (and if) potent chemicals affect honeybees. Hopefully, it will bring us one step closer to understanding how CCD works, how to keep bees healthy, and whether we need to start hoarding the avocados yet.
Where did the Butterfly’s go?
Both butterfly populations are highly sensitive to environmental conditions, and insect populations normally fluctuate greatly from year to year. This is distinct from long-term trends linked to problems such as habitat loss and pesticide use affecting the overall prospects of butterfly species.
Every single day there are fewer butterflies in the United States than there were the day before. Every time you take a meadow and turn it into a shopping center, you have decreased the world’s population of butterflies.
Maybe the first brood was just small, but that doesn’t mean that the numbers won’t pick up as the summer progresses.
"Monarchs are a special case because many of them migrate, and their numbers in overwintering Mexican forests have dropped precipitously in recent years. Much of this is attributed to the loss of habitat due to development and shifts in agricultural practices, including herbicide-tolerant, genetically modified row crops that have meant the eradication of sustaining stands of milkweed, the larval food plant. Although the migration as a phenomenon is threatened, the species is not in immediate peril."