By now, we are all familiar with the benefits of bees and the beauty of butterflies. Pollinators are the latest buzz word, if you can excuse the terrible pun. But what about wasps, flies, beetles, ants, midges and mosquitos? These insects are also highly valuable pollinators (yes, even the mosquito! It is only female mosquitos who feed on blood to gain enough nutrition for their young, the males feed solely on nectar!).
And it’s not just pollination. Insects provide an irreplaceable source of nutrition for animals such as other insects and arthropods, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, including an estimated 2 billion humans. They form an essential role in nutrient recycling by breaking up and redistributing dead and decaying matter, as well as providing an important economic role in industries such as honey, wax, dyes, and silk production. They also provide scientists with model species to study genetics and they have a rich cultural history ranging from the scarab beetles of Egypt to their use in Native American crafts.