Insects: Nothing works without them!
Insects are rarely high on the list, are too far removed from the “cute little kid” scheme and seem to do little for humans except annoy.
The exception is bees, which contribute to breakfast thanks to their delicious honey and are recognized in their work as pollinators.
Yet the weal and woe of humanity depends not only on bees, but directly on the billions of pollinating insects such as bumblebees, wild bees, butterflies, mosquitoes, flies. Without them, our global food security is at massive risk. Estimates put the global pollinator service at around 138 billion per year.
In the U.S., honey beekeepers are booked solid during fruit bloom, bringing thousands of hives long distances to places where bees are scarce due to soil and environmental degradation from herbicides and pesticides. In China, trees are already being painstakingly pollinated by hand, as entire regions have become almost insect-free due to large-scale pesticide use. Desperate attempts to save what can hardly be saved. Because pollination by humans is not a solution, as pollination experiments at the University of Freiburg have shown: Hand pollination did lead to 70% more yield compared to pollination by bees. What seemed to be a success at first glance, however, turned out to be a failure: the quality of the apples was so poor that large portions of the apples could not be market- ed. Honeybees and their wild pollinator colleagues alone are optimally adapted to the requirements of the blossoms and the plants. No brush in the world can replace them!
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