Butterflies Are Disappearing
Don’t get me started (again, my husband would add) about the lack of butterflies in the garden so far. I spotted red admirals in early May and figured the rest of the butterflies would be following soon.
Well, I was wrong. I realize I don’t spend every waking minute in my yard—although I try to—but the lack of butterflies makes me sad. And concerns me and others.
This recently published study, which found an average population decline of 2 percent per year in Ohio’s butterfly populations, was/is an emotional gut punch. There are a couple bright spots in the study, though:
- Butterflies found in Southern Ohio seem to be doing better than northern butterflies. Perhaps this is because they’re used to the warmer weather we generally have in the southern part of the state?
- Some butterfly populations have increased. For example, the wild indigo duskywing “is doing really well in Ohio because a plant it eats is used as erosion control on construction sites. It’s three times more numerous now than it was 20 years ago.”
I believe that anything I do personally can make a difference, which is why we don’t use pesticides and I have made an effort to plant native, pollinator-friendly plants in addition to the vegetable and fruit plants. But there are times I wonder if my small wins actually DO make a difference.
Bye Bye Bee Census
I keep thinking about the canary in the coal mine. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the miners hurry up and get out of the coal mine if the canary died?
The USDA is temporarily suspending data collection for the annual Honeybee Colonies Report due to budget cuts.
While I’m all about helping ALL bees, are honeybees our new canary in a coal mine metaphor?