Insect biodiversity is vital for our food security, health, ecosystem and climate resilience

Dr. Fatma Kaplan
5 min readMay 22, 2024

The devastation that drought, flood, extreme hot and low temperatures and freezing caused by climate change does not need much explanation for how to protect ourselves or our food source.

Global warming does a lot more than just extreme weather conditions. It causes a whole lot of little changes which don’t seem so important by themselves, but together they can be just as destructive as the extreme ones. At the Excellence in Insect Science Symposium at Michigan State University, I learned how those small changes together threaten our food security, health, and environment. Here are some examples.

1- A mild winter for example does not cause instant devastation like a flood or a drought. Overall, everything looks fine. Trees green up and flower a little earlier. The usual late freezes happen around April, and still nothing looks suspicious. But those late April freezes kill the early flowers, nipping the crop in the bud. This is just the beginning of the whole lot of little things.

2- What if spring and summer are a little warmer than usual? This may not seem a problem by itself. A warm spring may even feel pleasant, and a hot summer is just a little uncomfortable. But those higher temperatures stress the plants. I was surprised to learn how stressed-out plants affect the honeybee life cycle, even if the bees were not exposed to hot temperatures. Honeybees that feed on the pollen produced by the plants…