Nature is like a jenga game: every plant or animal species has its own place in the tower of life. If you make one of the blocks disappear, it will affect the rest and the tower will wobble! For example, small mammals, birds and reptiles depend on insects for their nutrition. Think of our national meadow bird, the godwit or the hedgehog, both insectivores.
Beneficial insects for humans
Humans are also dependent on insects. We use insects for honey, beeswax, silk or dyes in clothing and sweets. 80% of our fruit and vegetables are pollinated by bees and other insects. So they ensure that we can eat enough. We also need insects to enjoy the flowers: 90% of Dutch wild plants are pollinated by insects, according to bee expert Koos Biesmeijer
Insect mortality in the Netherlands
Many insects in the Netherlands are not doing well. For example, half
of all bee species in the Netherlands are endangered. The butterfly numbers are also worrying: 62%
of Dutch species are on the red list. Why are things so bad for the insects? Scientists think that our way of farming contributes greatly to this. The use of toxic pesticides, too few (variety of) flowers, too much fertilizer and fragmentation of the landscape are reasons for decline. This makes sense: just like us, bees need a varied diet and a suitable place to live. How could we help the insects?
Creating an insect-friendly garden
Nowadays you can contribute in many ways. You can buy seed mixes that are attractive to butterflies, bees and other insects. You can also buy or make insect hotels to make your garden insect-friendly. Finally, it is important to avoid pesticides. It is better to use natural pest control agents
to get rid of your pests in a nature-friendly way. This way you protect bees and other beneficial insects in the garden.
Have fun and good luck with natural control. Get nature on your team!