Our world would be a lot poorer if it weren’t for all the flying and buzzing insects. However, it is still possible to conserve their biodiversity and consequently our life.
Insects are one thing above everything others for many people: annoyances. Wasps sting as they eat, ants crawl around the flat, and flies are annoying in general. The small animals deserve our gratitude. They are essential to our ecosystem’s survival. And life would be unfathomable without them.
Why? Simply put, insects do an essential service for us: they pollinate. And no one is better at it than she is. Insects primarily visit flowering plants for nectar and pollen. They pollinate the female flower organ using pollen obtained through their touch.
A process that appears to be small and straightforward. But it’s one with a big impact, because it ensures the multiplication of about 88 percent of all plants on the planet. Insect pollination is responsible for up to 75% of our food.
Did you know that if wild bees or other insects pollinate strawberries and cherries, rapeseed, coffee, or watermelons, they produce a very abundant harvest?
Another aspect to consider is that pollinators allow other animals to have habitats like meadows, hedges, or trees for cover, breeding, and, of course, food. Many native songbird species, for example, rely on seeds, nuts, and fruit. They are all goods that owe their existence to insect pollination.
Pollinators aren’t only insects.
These are the most significant pollinators in the animal kingdom, organised in order of significance for a better overview.
The wind’s pollination services aren’t always trustworthy. Wind pollination is only effective with crops like maize and rice.
These are the reasons for endangered diversity.
“Insects are priceless. They pollinate both wild and cultivated plants, making them vital to the preservation of nature and the production of various foods. They provide food for innumerable animal species and are employed in agriculture for biological plant protection “NABU’s national director, Leif Miller, underlines this (Naturschutzbund Deutschland eV).
This well-functioning cycle, however, is in jeopardy. The number of flying insects in protected regions has decreased by up to 75% in recent decades. Every third bug species is endangered or extinct, according to the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation’s red list. The lack of various structures and the widespread use of pesticides in our agricultural landscapes are the two key causes. Intensively cultivated monocultures provide unfavourable living conditions, with little in the way of food and nesting chances.
Protection of wild bees Bees must be protected. REWE Group’s Long-Term Sustainability Protection for bees Insect protection
For many years, REWE Group and NABU, in collaboration with partners, have been devoted to protecting biodiversity. The REWE Group, regional beekeepers, Obst vom Bodensee Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, and the Bodensee Foundation collaborated on a project in 2010.
Nesting aids and blooming hedges were installed as part of the PRO PLANET apple initiative, providing additional food and nesting locations for flower-seeking insects in and around the apple growers’ territories. The PRO PLANET mark is awarded by the REWE Group’s independent Sustainability Advisory Board in recognition of Lake Constance fruit farmers’ dedication to biological diversity preservation. At REWE, the PRO PLANET badge serves as a guidance for more environmentally friendly shopping. Consumers will be able to see the commitment as well.
The biodiversity initiative has now been expanded to cover additional fruit and vegetable crops throughout Germany, thanks to the backing of NABU and the Rheinische Kulturlandschaften Foundation and its sister foundations. As part of the PRO PLANET project, more than 450 companies across the country are now working to promote biological variety.
More than 14,300 bushes, hedges, shrubs, and trees have been planted throughout 612 hectares of flowering areas, which is roughly equivalent to 850 football grounds. In addition, the “survival helpers” installed over 4,700 insect nesting aids and over 10,100 bird and bat nesting boxes. Learn more about the initiative by clicking here.
“Our programmes demonstrate that discourse and practical cooperation between conservationists and farmers contribute significant value to the environment, the growing region, and everyone concerned.” It’s encouraging to see how our long-term commitment to each other along the value chain is paying off.” Sustainability Goods REWE Group’s Florian Schäfer.
In 2016, the project received the “German CSR Prize” for “Exemplary cooperation between a corporation and NGOs/NPOs.” It was also named a UN Decade of Biological Diversity project in 2019 and received the European Bee Award.
“We have a crucial partner on our side in the REWE Group,” says Leif Miller, “to come a step closer to our aim of establishing insect-friendly ecosystems across the board.”