How Does Insects Survive Winter

Did you know that it was quieter in winter than in autumn? What you hear is the rustling of the wind between the trees. No buzz, where are the bugs, then? 

Learn how pests are coping through the winter 

Looking for warm temperatures
Did you know that there is also ‘butterfly migration‘ in addition to bird migration? Yes, not only do birds love to migrate south in the coldest season of the year. For example, thistle butterfly flies to a warm place such as Africa during this time. Many butterfly species are simply hibernating in the Netherlands. It doesn’t matter which growth process they are in during the winter.

Fake death
During the colder periods, the lemon butterfly and peacock look for hiding places such as sheds or crawl spaces. They freeze themselves, which is called diapause. So they are not dead! The body produces a kind of antifreeze liquid, which prevents them from perishing in the cold. It must be cold to remain rigid. In some cases sheds are heated, awakening a butterfly and disturbing hibernation. Therefore, leave them alone.

A lonely wasp season
It is not surprising that you don’t see many wasps in winter. Only the young fertilized wasp queens survive this period. In the spring they wake up from their hibernation and make a new nest where they place up to 12 eggs. Once the eggs have hatched, the queens feed them until they have grown into adult female workers. Then the queens lay more new eggs, which are defended by the female workers. This creates a whole new wasp colony.

The males of the honey bee are not welcome
The workers of the European honey bee chase or kill the males during the winter. During that period they no longer contribute to the colony. There is an area in the hive where pollen and honey are stored. In the winter, the workers sit in their thousands to keep herself and the queen warm. The queen is in the middle and around spring she will be fed by the workers to lay eggs. The workers eat honey and move their wing muscles to keep the temperature high.

Why Insects are under pressure ?

Insects are the mainstay of a lot of life on Earth. Insects are the most abundant animals on Earth and an important part of our ecosystems. Many plants rely on insects to help them pollinate. Insects are also a food supply for all sorts of wildlife, such as birds, frogs and lizards. Animals who have insects on their menu are also prey to themselves, making insects a vital link in the food chain. However, insects on Earth are under pressure: an estimated 40% of all insect populations are disappearing and a third of insects worldwide are directly at risk. The cause is likely to be the mixture of forests destroyed, climate change and insecticides used in agriculture.