3 August 2016

The Decline of Insect Pollinators

For the week of August 7, 2016

Drastic environmental changes and heavy use of insecticides and herbicides have contributed to the population decline of insect pollinators like bees and butterflies. Ecosystems rely heavily on beneficial insects and their decline has serious consequences on the environment and health of food sources. How is Minnesota combating the population decline of insect pollinators and how can individuals make their gardens and green spaces pollinator-friendly?

Guest: Vera Krischik, Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota

  • Part 1 – 12:38

    Part 1
    Pollinating insects move pollen and create genetic diversity in seeds and seeds, which include fruits and nuts, are a main source of food for many animals. “When you start reducing pollinators,” Krischik says, “you start having an effect on the abundance of food.” What has caused the population decline? Habitat loss, management practices and cultural issues, Krischik says, adding, “there is a lack of respect for bugs.”
  • Part 2 – 13:54

    Part 2
    Individual gardens and urban green spaces are increasingly important to sustain pollinating insect populations. “With the high pesticide use in agriculture, are our suburban and urban areas becoming the sinks for storing good bugs?” Krischik asks. “The data has been yes.”
    More information on pollinator conservation and recourses for best gardening practices for beneficial insects:
    Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: http://www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/
    University of Minnesota’s Extension: