Negative Buzz: Dying Insects hurt Food Supply

Bee populations declining; monarch butterflies close to extinction.

Nathan Montoya, Editor of News


Recently, the Monarch Butterflies population has been dwindling fast, and the bee population is on the decline as well. The climate crisis has taken an effect on these pollinators, with more intense and prolonged droughts being a major factor. The extreme heat has been especially difficult for the butterfly population. The struggle for these insects is due to warmer temperatures earlier in the year. These cause plants to bloom sooner, which is out of sync with the butterflies’ natural clock that times the laying of their eggs as well as metamorphosis. This means the flowers they depend on for food will have already bloomed, leaving little for the butterflies to feed on, which in turn greatly impacts their ability to reproduce and survive. This creates a scenario where butterflies can’t get the food they need to reproduce, and thus more plants aren’t pollinated, which causes both species, plant and butterfly, to suffer greatly. 

Bees have been dying off due to intensive farming practices like using excessive amounts of agricultural chemicals, and mono-cropping, which is the practice of growing large amounts of a single crop on a piece of land. Other things such as higher temperatures that also affect the butterflies, affect the bees just as much. Because of this decline, foods such as apples, melons, almonds, broccoli, and squash are among the foods most affected by the decline of pollinators according to the Food and Drug Administration. Bees specifically are responsible for about 90% of commercially produced crops, the FDA reported. In an interview with CNN, Ron Magill, the communications director, and a wildlife expert at Zoo Miami said “It’s all so intricately connected, whether you’re eating the food that is directly pollination or you’re eating something that depends on that pollinator, it’s a domino effect.”