Declines in insect abundance and diversity: We know enough to act now

Image of wildflowers in prairies strips.

(Conservation Science and Practice) “The scientific community has understandably been focused on establishing the breadth and depth of the phenomenon and on documenting factors causing insect declines. In parallel with ongoing research, it is now time for the development of a policy consensus that will allow for a swift societal response… To these ends, we suggest primary policy goals summarized at scales from nations to farms to homes.”

Lack of crop diversity and increasing dependence on pollinators may threaten food security

Image of leaf cutter bee on flower.

(EurekAlert/University of Maryland) The study showed that the global area cultivated in crops that require pollination by bees and other insects expanded by 137 percent, while crop diversity increased by just 20.5 percent. This imbalance is a problem because agriculture dominated by just one or two types of crops only provides nutrition for pollinators during a limited window when the crops are blooming. “The bottom line is that if you’re increasing pollinator crops, you also need to diversify crops and implement pollinator-friendly management.”

Honey bees hit by Trump budget cuts

Image of honey bee with mite on its back.

(CNN) It is at least the third bee-related dataset to be suspended under the current administration. The Cost of Pollination survey and the Honey survey have also been suspended or scaled back in the last year. “Understanding what’s going on with honey bees is incredibly important to having a sense of what’s impacting pollinators in general.”