Those of us who are beekeepers rightly love our bugs.

Chances are, we don’t spend too much time thinking about other bugs.

jpegScott R. Shaw does. He’s a professor and curator of the Insect Museum at the University of Wyoming. He’s also author of Planet of the Bugs: Evolution and the Rise of Insects.

He’s written an op-ed piece for the New York Times making the very salient point that insects are not “pests.” We call them that because they bother us sometimes. As Shaw writes

But of the millions of insects, only a tiny fraction of them, less than 1 percent, are pests. A vast majority are beneficial to humans: They are pollinators, seed dispersers, nutrient recyclers, soil producers and predators or parasites of plant-feeding insects. They are food for frogs, salamanders, lizards, snakes and especially birds. Some are important indicators of water quality. Bugs contain an astronomical array of chemical compounds, some exploited commercially, such as beeswax and cochineal dye. And they are sources of medicines, oils, waxes, fibers, dyes and scents.

We should develop a greater appreciation for all insects and what they do for us.

Good point, well said.

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