I reported on this blog a few days ago about the lack of bees and insects. I have spent time since then looking at all flowers I come across and have not see any of them with a pollinating insect. For instance, Rosa rugosa is normally full of bumble bees rolling about in the nectar but this year–none to be seen.

All the vast number of Hawthorn blossoms that I have looked at are totally lacking in anything–nothing at all is to be seen in any of their flowers.

I looked on the web and found an article from entomologists in Australia who are puzzled by the widespread decline of insects in their country. They have spoken to entomologists in other countries, who have reported the same decline in insect numbers.

No-one seems to have a clue why this is so, particularly as it is a worldwide phenomenon and so cannot be related to specific circumstances in one area.

Has anyone else noticed this lack of pollinating insects, or is it just me that is being unlucky at finding them?

A study from Germany was reported last October “In just 3 decades, insect populations in German nature reserves have plummeted by more than 75%, according to a new study”.

Here is an extract from the Australian report, where even the controlled breeding of a butterfly species is failing.

“The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda, west of Cairns, has had difficulty breeding the far north’s iconic Ulysses butterfly for more than two years.
“We’ve had [the problem] checked by scientists, the University of Queensland was involved, Biosecurity Queensland was involved but so far we haven’t found anything unusual in the bodies [of caterpillars] that didn’t survive,” said breeding laboratory supervisor Tina Kupke.
“We’ve had some short successes but always failed in the second generation. “Ms Lupke said the problem was not confined to far north Queensland, or even Australia.
“Some of our pupae go overseas from some of our breeders here and they’ve all had the same problem,” she said. “And the Melbourne Zoo has been trying for quite a while with the same problems.”
I find all this extremely worrying. But where is the concern? Are we so enthralled by modern life that it doesn’t matter to us? But matter it will, whether we like it or not, when the impact shatters our complacency.
Link to full article here http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-24/decline-in-insect-population-baffles-scientists/9481136