The dangers of insect hive collapse has been well documented. After a catastrophic dip in beehive populations has impacted all the plants that the bees pollinate. One of the big causes for the decrease in insect population is the overuse of pesticide in industrial farming and suburban lawn care limiting flowers that bees could draw pollen from.
Over at The Guardian, a new article on the findings of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature discuss one option people have for helping to curb global insect depopulation: buy more organic foods.
“It is definitely an emergency,” said Prof Axel Hochkirch, who leads on insects for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature,the global authority on the status of the natural world. “This is a real, global, dramatic problem.”
“If you buy organic food, you make sure the land is used less intensively,” he said. “There are a lot of studies that show organic farming is better for insects than intensive farming. It is quite logical.” Prof Dave Goulson at the University of Sussex, UK, also backed buying organic food.
Both scientists said people with gardens could also make them more insect friendly. “Things like mowing your lawn not every two weeks but once a year, which is usually sufficient,” said Hochkirch, from Trier University in Germany. “Planting plants which are native to the area is also important.” A major recent study showed the great importance to insects of gardens and allotments in cities.
Hochkirch said that personal efforts are important but the big politics that subsidize industrial farming efforts. “This is the strongest threat to most species. It can only be dealt with on the political level. You need to change the system of how farmers are paid. It is not the farmer who is to blame, it is the system. He has to adapt to the payment regimes of the EU, or US, or wherever.”
The UK’s environment secretary, Michael Gove, told the Guardian: “Insects are fundamental to the health of the natural world and the decline of these vital species on a global scale is deeply concerning. That’s why we are taking action to restore biodiversity after decades of losses.”