6 ways to nurture biodiversity in the garden and on the balcony

6 tapaa vaalia luonnon monimuotoisuutta puutarhassa ja parvekkeella

The diversity of nature is a prerequisite for our life. The sixth mass extinction in the history of the earth is underway, where the loss of insects is also accelerating. The future of insects and humans walk hand in hand, and the loss of insects can have unexpected consequences, even greater than climate change. For example, for the vast majority of crops, pollination by insects is a condition of life. If the plants are not pollinated, there will be no harvest and therefore no food to eat. Insects also have many other important roles, such as controlling pest populations, recycling nutrients, building soil and dispersing seeds. Global political decisions are needed to protect species, but each of us can also protect insects in our own yard, balcony or even in the neighbourhood park. Grab Moi Forest's tips here ♡

1. Invite butterflies and bugs to visit

Set up a butterfly bar and insect hotel in your yard or balcony. The butterfly bar serves red wine, beer or syrup for butterflies looking for additional food, while the insect hotel offers a nesting and wintering place for the fluffy ones, which you naturally don't want to find in yards that are too tidy.

2. Be lazy

The less you tend to your yard, the better. Mow the lawn just a few times during the summer, and you'll leave insects hiding places and wild flowers a chance to grow. When you mow the lawn, clean only part of the yard and leave the areas with flowers untouched. You can leave twigs and leaves that have fallen from trees in autumn to fall on the ground. If there are stumps or rotten trees in the yard, let them also remain as hiding places and living environments for the little creatures in the yard.

3. Garden flower etiquette

Leave room in the yard for wildflowers, as they are popular with pollinators. However, it is important to eradicate alien species, as their spread is a threat to insects. Before going garden shopping, do some background research on plants that produce a lot of nectar and favour them when planting. Some of the garden flowers sold in the store can be charmingly attractive, but so refined that they no longer produce nectar or pollen. Also, don't order foreign species online or bring them home as souvenirs, because their spread into the environment can disturb the domestic natural ecosystem. Diseases and other harmful companions can also spread with the seedlings.

4. Natural, please

Pesticides and insecticides do not belong in the yard, because they also take other life with them. You can also directly influence the prevention of insect loss by preferring organic production in your own food, which does not use chemical pesticides.

5. Lights out

According to studies, artificial light shining at night is one of the reasons for the loss of insects. By turning off the outdoor lights at night, you can reduce the amount of light pollution for your part.

6. Flower activism

Start fighting insect infestation with the help of flowers. You can practice sowing guerrilla meadows: in a positive spirit of rebellion, for example, seeds are thrown on the lawn of a park or in the courtyards of public spaces, which grow into wildflowers. In many cities, there is also the opportunity to become a park sponsor and thus volunteer, for example, to take care of the park's flowers.

The question that no longer dares to be asked - What is the importance of pollinators?

About a third of humanity's food production depends on pollinators. Without pollination, for example, berries, fruits or the vast majority of other crops would not develop. An estimated 75–85 percent of all plant species in the world are pollinated by insects.

The flowers of all plants produce pollen. Pollination takes place when, for example, a bumblebee flies from flower to flower in search of food and at the same time carries pollen from one plant to another in its fur. When pollen is transferred from one flower to another, fertilization occurs, and the seed and fruit begin to develop. Pollination can also take place via wind or water. Some of the plants are self-pollinated.

It is estimated that even more than forty percent of insect species are threatened with extinction in the coming decades. According to the worst forecasts, insects could disappear almost completely within a hundred years, unless significant measures are taken.


Juho Paukkunen, museum master, entomologist, Central Museum of Natural Sciences, Department of Zoology, University of Helsinki

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