by DW Documentary
October 17, 2019

from YouTube Website







For well over 400 million years, insects have played an essential role in the evolution of our ecosystem.


While many may take them for granted, their extinction could spell catastrophe for the planet at large.


Sadly, this scenario is currently playing out across the globe.


'The Silent Summer - Why Are Insects Dying?' explores our dependence upon the insect population, the factors that are leading to their rapid decline, and what their extinction could mean for the future of our world as we know it.

Insects constitute up to 80% of our planet's species.


They pollinate many of our plants, trees and crops, keep our soil well fertilized, and provide a primary source of nourishment for other animals in the food chain.


If the population was severely compromised or disappeared altogether, our ecosystem and food chain would collapse.


Like a wicked game of dominoes, one food chain after another would perish from malnourishment - from birds to bears to humans.


Plant life would die without hope of resurrection.


Our ability to grow our own food would become untenable.

There are a number of factors that place our insect populations in peril, including

  • climate change

  • light pollution

  • industrialization

  • widespread use of harmful pesticides...

The film features insights from a variety of subjects who are attempting to weed out the root causes of insect extinction and uncover new solutions to combat it, including experts in farming, agriculture, and entomology.

The filmmakers visit a laboratory where scientists are studying the long-term impact of pesticides.


They spend time with conservationists who are busy crafting special habitats - a kind of insect-based Noah's Ark - where insects can find refuge.


Farmers illustrate how the waning bee population affects the nutritional value of their crops.


At every stop, we're reminded of the stakes involved, and are urged to support bold initiatives that promote increased biodiversity.


The experts believe that we are destined to suffer a 'disastrous fate' unless we assume crisis mode right now.

Produced by the DW Documentary series, 'The Silent Summer - Why Are Insects Dying?' is an engaging and informative work that's well worth checking out.





The great death of insects

Insects aren't really likeable. They sting, bite, transmit diseases and frighten children. But, on the other hand, they are also fascinating:

480 million years ago, insects were the first animals to learn to fly, and they took over the Earth.

Even now, they are fundamental to life on Earth, and are at the beginning of the food chain on which all human beings are ultimately dependent.

But insect numbers worldwide are dropping, creating a rupture of the food chain. Environmentalists and scientists are now extremely worried.


Landscape ecology professor Alexandra-Maria Klein from Freiburg, for example, has been researching the effects of human interventions in natural environments for decades and has launched an experiment in a fruit plantation on Lake Constance:

What happens when insects disappear? An ominous silence is settling on places that were once humming and buzzing.


Why are the insects dying?

Author Christoph WŘrzburger takes a journey into the fascinating world of insects and meets entomologists, farmers, scientists, chemical companies and politicians in a search for the causes of insect mortality.