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Friday, September 6, 2019
BUZZ, STING, BITE: WHY WE NEED INSECTS (audiobook) by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson
Published by Simon and Schuster Audio in July of 2019.
Read by Kristin Millward.
Duration: 7 hours, 15 minutes.
Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, a Norwegian ecologist, specializing in insects, has written an interesting, often funny and thought-provoking introduction to the world of insects.
She gives the reader lots of interesting trivia, such as the story of male bugs that die at the climactic moment of mating due to their genitals exploding. She also tells of plants that trick dung beetles into planting their stinky seeds for them, the importance of wood beetles to keeping soil nitrogen-rich and the super-long (and boring) lives of the 17-year cicada. None of these insects gets an in-depth look because this book is an introduction because you can't seriously expect any book to cover the hundreds of thousands of species of insects in any sort of depth
She looks at how insects could be helpful in the fight against pollution and could be managed to help limit the use of pesticides, but that is not the real value of the book.
Most importantly, she demonstrates the value of insects to the ecosystem. Or, as she puts it, insects could live without people, but people couldn't live without insects. She shows how the entire world ecosystem depends on millions of different species of insects pollinating plants, breaking down the dead plants and loosening up the soil for the new plants. Basically, no bugs = no plants. No plants = no people.
My favorite fact in the book: Every year spiders eat so many insects that their combined body weight is greater than the combined body weight of every human being on the planet. So...leave the spiders alone if you can.
The audiobook was read by Kristin Millward. Her VERY British accent was an interesting change of pace. She helped make the already lively text even more interesting.
I rate this audiobook 5 stars our of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: BUZZ, STING, BITE: WHY WE NEED INSECTS.