Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Where have all the bees and butterflies gone??
We have noticed something strange the past two years with our garden. Our squash plants flower but we haven't gotten any squash. Last year we thought maybe the ground was wearing out but this year we fertilized and put in some new top soil. But again no squash. The mystery deepens.
While photographing the blue butterfly above I realize that I have not seen a Monarch butterfly in a couple of years. I used to see them all the time in our yard and garden. Could our problem be with the loss of bees and butterflies to cross pollinate our plants? Doing some research I found this article in the Washington Post of the decline of the Monarch population.
Probably even more important is the bee population decline. Seventy-five percent of our nuts, fruits and vegetables are pollinated by bees. If the bees disappear we will only be left with self pollinating foods like corn. The loss of crops that need the bees would lead to world famine in a way we have never seen.
While there is controversy about what is causing the decline of the butterflies and bees the leading indicators point to pesticides. One pesticide class in particular has been suspected of being a cause and they are neonicotimoids. The interaction of pesticides to control insects destructive to crops and their negative impact on insects that pollinate our crops is one of those trade offs that frequently is recognized only after the destruction reaches a point of no return. Let's hope this doesn't happen with butterflies and bees.
Call it a coincidence but after writing yesterday's blog I walked outside and saw this Monarch butterfly. First one in a couple of years.
Something on the destructiveness of lawns.
Posted by duanestclair at 5:46 AM