To the Editor:

As a beekeeper marveling at beeline flights, altruistic work ethic, sun-angle computations with waggle dances directing sisters to pollen and nectar sources, I get a few stinging reminders when I forget their rules.

Sure, some are bugged by bees, but what about butterflies? 2020 was a bad year for butterflies, too, as monarch populations migrating from northern winters to Mexico fell 26%, escalating a 20-year decline as the US Fish and Wildlife Service lists the monarchs as threatened-endangered. Their eastern population fell from 384 million in 1996 to 60 million in 2019, while western monarchs declined from 1.2 million in 1997 to fewer than 30,000.

Causes? Extreme climate conditions (storms, wildfires), milkweed habitat loss, and a fourfold increase in Mexican wintering grounds deforestation (illegal logging, drought, pest disease).

We're headed for "bugpocalypse" threatening ecosystems and food supply unless we take action. Have Senators Burr and Tillis and our members of Congress prioritize nonpartisan lasting carbon pricing climate change legislation.

Celebrate a green March 17.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun, And find your shoulder to light on, To bring you luck, happiness, and riches Today, tomorrow, and beyond. (Irish Blessing)

Minta Phillips

Julian