No noise on the lawn: where are the insects?

No noise on the lawn: where are the insects?

It’s not just butterflies having a bad year. Bees don’t do well at all. Outside research from the University of Wageningen show that a quarter of all bee colonies did not survive the last winter period.

Pollinator scientist Constant Swinkels of Radboud University is concerned. “The numbers of butterflies and hoverflies we’re counting right now are a bit shocking,” he tells Editie NL. “If the numbers go down, there is a risk that the insect community will become smaller. As a result, fewer plants can be pollinated. Alarm bells are ringing now that the number of insects seems to be shrinking, and I think that is justified.”

It is not just bees that provide pollination. So it is important that other insect species live as well. Butterflies, bees, wasps, some species of flies, and even species of beetles visit the flowers and provide pollination.

Statistics from the Butterfly Foundation show that it hasn’t been that bad for a butterfly in the past 30 years. “Gloomy reports of butterflies this spring and we’re seeing an even bigger drop in numbers below average now in early June.”

According to the Butterfly Foundation, there is always a low in June, even though it appears to be worse this year than in other years. This is due to the very dry and late summer we had last year. “The species that are doing poorly now all larvae in the fall and then have suffered severe drought,” says the foundation. Known.

The consequences of diminishing numbers are not only noticeable in the garden or on the balcony. Fruit growers in particular suffer from this a lot. “The decrease in the number of insects is a problem, because if they don’t come, there will be no fruit,” fruit grower Wessel van Aulst tells Editie NL. Good pollination guarantees better fruit quality. This is why Van Aulst borrows honey bees from beekeepers every spring. “These bees get help from solitary bees, hoverflies, and the occasional butterfly. Hopefully, it won’t get to the point where we have to manually pollinate ourselves.”

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The Butterfly Foundation believes that, given the right conditions, residents can still get out quite well. “Because they can lay a lot of eggs, they can also recover quickly, but it depends on conditions for the rest of the year. Species like the little-veined white and the little cabbage white can probably have a bad year.”

Pollination researcher Swinkels advises ensuring there are many flowers and plants in the garden and installing a watercourse. “The plants themselves provide options for pollination, and they also provide shade where the insects can cool off for a while. The water provides enough moisture for the insects.”

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