It is not just your imagination, and it's not just the bees. The global flying bug population is dropping dramatically and we all should be worried.
About twelve years ago I was driving across the upper midwestern United States in late Spring, a time when there should have been plenty of insects on my car's windshield. After driving more than 1,000 miles I did not have to clean my windshield.
While some may have welcomed having a windshield devoid of bug-splat, I found it alarming and deeply disturbing. "What happened to all the bugs?" I thought.
In October, the decline of flying insects finally made news. The news comes too late but at least someone in a position of authority has finally noticed and some media carried the story.
A study published in the October 18 issue of the science journal PLOS One reported the results of a 27-year study which found a seasonal decline of flying insects of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% over the 27 years of study.
The study was conducted in 63 nature protection areas in Germany, but the data is being applied to much of the Earth.
The researchers found that the collapse in flying insects was apparent regardless of habitat type, and that changes in weather, land use, and habitat cannot explain the overall decline.
The researchers warn that the study’s findings suggest that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon.” Many flying insects pollinate plants and are food for birds and bats. They are an essential and integral part of our planet's life support systems.
Bird and bat populations have also plummeted in many parts of the world and plant distribution is changing rapidly with some species receding while others take their place.
With the collapse of the food chain, mammals are also affected. Wildlife populations are estimated to have already declined worldwide by 60%.
One of the likely causes of the collapse in insects is the widespread use of the herbicide glyphosate, the leading ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer. Urinalysis of seniors in California found that exposure to glyphosate there has increased by 500% since genetically modified crops were introduced.
Glyphosate has been proven to damage DNA and radically alters the microbiome in the intestine. It also radically alters soil biology and causes genetic mutations in soil microbes, essentially converting farmland around the world into pathogen factories. Most species lack immunity to the new viruses, bacteria and fungus created by the constant mutations caused by glyphosate.
An increasing number of countries are banning glyphosate but more corrupt countries, such as the United States and Canada are increasing usage, with the knowledge of the damage being caused.
The EU almost banned glyphosate in October but somehow the vote was postponed.
You can help support insects by not using pesticides or herbicides and by buying GMO-free products. It also helps if you plant a variety of flowers, including milk thistle for Monarch butterflies.