If only mosquitoes would become pollinators, instead of blood-suckers

There’s been a lot in the news and in the science journals about the decline in butterflies and bees, and what that might mean.

Bees, butterflies, and other insects play a crucial role in the health of the natural world. They move pollen from plant to plant, which provides genetic diversity among the plants, and ensures that there are enough of those plants for other animals up the food chain.

Yet for reasons scientists haven’t yet been able to explain for sure, pollinators are declining. Bees, butterflies and other pollinators have all shown smaller populations than they did just a few years ago. If we don’t find a way to help them out, and if the populations continue to decline, there could be serious implications for not only the wild world, but for our human food sources, as well.

I wish we could train mosquitoes to step in as surrogate pollinators. For one thing, it would get them to quit sucking blood out of us, and judging from the numbers of the little vampires I’ve been swatting all spring and summer, there would be more than enough of them to cross-pollinate the entire world.

I doubt there’s any scientific link between pollinators declining and mosquitoes increasing. It’s likely just an unfortunate coincidence. The reason for the upswing in mosquitoes is probably just that this spring and summer has been wetter than usual. Instead of one or two hatches, like we get in normal years, we probably had four or five. And apparently, all those hatches were very successful ones. Even with repeated applications of Deep Woods Off!, I’m one giant, itchy mosquito bite bump.

Hopefully we’ll get the pollinator puzzle figured out soon. It would be nice if there were as many butterflies flitting around as there are mosquitoes. It would make it easier to deal with the itchy bites if we could watch some butterflies while we’re getting bled dry.

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