September 30, 2023

Volunteers prepare insects for science

Volunteers prepare insects for science

Wild bees are particularly affected by insect mortality

However, according to Taria Richter, wild bees such as bumblebees are suffering severely: since they usually live in cooler regions, they are driven out by climate change. However, bees are bad at escaping to new habitats. In addition, they lose their habitat due to construction and intensification of agriculture.

More than half of wild bees are now on the Red List. According to Tarja Richter, many insect species are in sharp decline, and there are losses of more than 70 percent, especially among flying insects. Some hover flies have even been reduced by 90 percent.

There are many reasons why insects die

But why are insect numbers declining? At the University of Würzburg, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter investigates the effects of land use and climate change on insects. He says there are many reasons why insects die.

Insects are losing their habitat

On the other hand, this is due to lost habitats such as swamps. On the other hand, sealing rooftops, traffic and light pollution in settlement areas.

Insects are very important to humans and nature. 75% of crops depend on pollination by insects. Insects are not only important as pollinators, but also as natural enemies of the decomposition of organic matter and as food for other animal species—particularly birds.

Research gaps in insects

For so long, the data basis in the research was so weak that serious changes were overlooked, according to entomologist Ingolf Stefan Dewinter. He would like better and clearly organized software to be able to recognize early warning signals.

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Collect more data for science

Data from NABU and LBV cannot provide an accurate picture of insect mortality. The time period for the data collected is very short – but in the long run, such campaigns should help to read future trends. From the 5th to the 14th of August, there is a second promotion period this year.