Insektensterben – Alles wird gut

Insect Decline – It’s Going to be All Right

Temporary exhibition

It’s a silent but rapid decline: insects are disappearing. In just 30 years, almost three-quarters of the biomass of flying insects has been lost. This is a huge problem for humans – because insects not only play a major role in nature, but also in our diet. So should we just give up hope? Our special exhibition says: no!

Trailer Sonderausstellung «Insektensterben – Alles wird gut» NMBE/Thea Sonderegger

‘I can certainly do without mosquitoes’ – this is a common sentiment. Yet we humans are dependent on every insect, including mosquitoes. Even if an insect doesn’t play an important role in pollination and therefore in our food supply, it’s still an important source of food for other animals, such as birds and amphibians. Insects also ensure that dead plants and carrion are decomposed, thus maintaining the balance in nature. In short, without insects, there would be no life on earth. Nevertheless, three-quarters of the biomass of flying insects has disappeared in just 30 years. Researchers found the greatest decline in areas with intensive agricultural operations. But insects are dying out in forests, too. Insect biomass in forests decreased by 41 per cent between 2008 and 2017. In meadows, the decline was even greater – 67 per cent. We are in the midst of a global extinction on a scale similar to the last mass extinction sixty million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the earth.

There is still cause for hope!

Following the success of Queer – Diversity is in our Nature, the Natural History Museum of Bern is once again tackling a highly topical, socio-politically relevant subject with its new special exhibition Insect Decline – It’s Going to be All Right. The exhibition takes a surprising and provocatively optimistic approach by ushering visitors into the future, more precisely into the year 2053. From there, they look back at our present, and the numerous effective approaches and initiatives that have managed to avert the great insect extinction.

Special event programme (in German)


Insekten basteln

Gemeinsam mit der Künstlerin Eva Baumann basteln Kinder und Familien aus Naturmaterialien Insekten. Dabei lernen sie einiges über den Aufbau und die Lebensräume der heimischen Insekten. Mehr Informationen finden Sie hier.

Wie gestalte ich meinen Garten oder Balkon insektenfreundlich?

Was ist ein Naturgarten und wie gestalte ich meinen Balkon insektenfreundlich? Profis des renommierten Unternehmens Stolz Naturgarten geben konkrete Praxistipps. Weitere Informationen und Anmeldung finden Sie hier.


Stadtpflanzen und essbares Unkraut

Bern ist ein überraschendes Natur-Restaurant: Der Stadtbotaniker und Koch Maurice Maggi öffnet bei einem Spaziergang durch die Stadt den Kursteilnehmenden die Augen. Weitere Informationen und Anmeldung finden Sie hier.


Lesung Michael Ohl («Wespen»)

Michael Ohl ist deutscher Wissenschaftler am Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Professor an der Humboldt-Universität Berlin – und vor allem leidenschaftlicher Wespenforscher. Letztes Jahr erschien sein Buch «Wespen» in der renommierten Naturkunden-Reihe. Weitere Informationen und Anmeldung zur Lesung am 26. April 2024 finden Sie hier.


Pop-up-Store Flora di Berna

Wie fördere ich Insekten in meinem Garten oder auf meinem Balkon? Mit einheimischen Wildpflanzen! Zwischen März und Oktober 2024 bieten wir im Museum während den Öffnungszeiten eine bunte Auswahl an insektenfreundlichen Wildpflanzen der Biogärtnerei Flora di Berna.

Programme for schools and teachers (in German)


Individueller Klassenbesuch

Sie wollen mit Ihrer Schulklasse die Ausstellung besuchen? Sämtliche Informationen, Termine und das Anmeldeformular finden Sie hier.

Teilnahme Schulworkshop

Sie interessieren sich für einen angeleiteten Workshop mit Ihrer Klasse? Sämtliche Informationen, Termine und das Anmeldeformular finden Sie hier.


Wenden Sie sich an unser Team Bildung und Vermittlung für weitere Informationen.

Host your event in the exhibition space

To book private guided tours, workshops (for groups, companies etc.) and events in the exhibition, please contact the Head of Catering and Events or book the event directly on our website

In each of the five individually designed rooms which focus on the topics of Agriculture, Pesticides, Climate Change, The Fascination of Insects, and Habitats, a person involved in saving insects in 2023 addresses visitors. Using headphones as well as information in the exhibition space, visitors can learn about what each of the speakers has initiated. They include an insect specialist, a forester, a pesticide researcher, a farmer and a group of activists.

Room: The Fascination of Insects

From his kitchen, former scientific illustrator and Natural History Museum of Bern entomologist Hans-Peter Wymann talks about his fascination with butterflies and insects, which began in childhood. Take a seat and make yourself at home. And don’t forget to take a look in the kitchen cupboards to find out more about the importance of insects!

Room: Agriculture

A form of agriculture that not only feeds people but also benefits insects and biodiversity – this is possible, as Tina Siegenthaler and her Fondlihof farm demonstrate. This room presents a number of other farms that are already practising the agriculture of the future. They prove that the knowledge and methods for insect-friendly farming have long been available. The farmers rely on approaches such as rotational grazing systems and mosaic farming. This section also addresses major problems, such as the subsidy payments worth billions that contribute to the degradation of biodiversity.

Room: Pesticides

Welcome to the mind of Alex Aebi. Here, the renowned pesticide researcher from the University of Neuchâtel looks back to the heyday of pesticides (the present day) and addresses the problems they raise. This includes the fact that you can’t test the effects of pesticides on nature in the laboratory, and that they not only accumulate in nature over decades, but also in humans. The room also delves deeper into the dubious business of agrochemical multinationals that sell pesticides banned in this country to other countries, which thus find their way back into our ecosystem.

Room: Climate Change

In this room, we travel to Villigen, in the canton of Aargau, and tour the forest which Oliver Frey has spent his professional life tending. The forester has experienced first hand the massive impact that climate change has had on the forest. How should forestry respond to this? According to Frey: with diversity. He plants a wide range of tree species, particularly native varieties. This helps the insects. Climate change, which will still be noticeable in 2053, is producing some winners, such as the southern small white, a butterfly that has gone from rare to common in a short space of time. Alongside individual success stories, however, climate change is mainly producing a lot of losers – and putting further pressure on biodiversity.

Room: Habitats

Preserving habitats is one of the most important aspects when it comes to protecting insect diversity. The faunaberna association protects important habitats for insects and other native animal and plant species - and creates new spaces. Join them at the table in the clubhouse, build a house of cards with beer mats and find out more. The room also discusses why bodies of water are so important for insects, why it's worthwhile for your wallet to prevent light pollution, why you should take a scythe course - and the benefits of protecting biodiversity. For example, because biodiversity makes you happy, as science proves.

Writer Franz Hohler connects the past with the future. In the year 2053, the old prophet looks back on his song ‘Der Weltuntergang’ (The End of the World) from 1973, which can be heard in the exhibition and which seems uncannily current from today’s perspective. Franz Hohler has written a new version especially for the exhibition, which is no less stirring, drawing visitors back to the present day. This space contains a workshop area with a varied special event programme and tips for personal initiatives.

The soundtrack to the exhibition

The Basel duo Basse-cour (Marius Cuendet and Matteo Simonin) has composed two pieces especially for the exhibition. ‘Mystique moustique’ and ‘Grillen Samba’ were premiered at the launch of the exhibition. The music not only uses samba rhythms, a saxophone, an electric piano and vocals, but also recordings of insects:

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Christoph Beer


Katharina Weistroffer


Beatrice Baeriswyl,

Alexandra Capaul,

Dominic Huber,

Simon Jäggi,

Christian Kropf,

Julia Sonderegger,

Thea Sonderegger,

Katharina Weistroffer


Simon Jäggi

Wissenschaftliche Kuration

Christian Kropf


Dominic Huber


Kilian Baumann,

Katrin Blassmann,

Kurt Fluri,

Michael Meier,

Karin Oesch,

Daniela Pauli,

Sabine Reber

Hans Jörg Rüegsegger,


Szenografie und Ausstattungsleitung

Alexandra Capaul,

Dominic Huber (Blendwerk GmbH)


Barbara Hoffmann,

Jonas Oehrli,

Thea Sonderegger


Thea Sonderegger


Daniel Harisberger (Team Tumult)


Enrique Hernandez


Ayesha Schnell


Julia Urech


Constantin Latt,

Martin Troxler

Outside Eye

Naomi Ena Eggli

Inhalt und Text


Simon Jäggi

Regie und Texte Protagonist:innen

Dominic Huber

Texte Kinderspur

Beatrice Baeriswyl,

Julia Sonderegger


Franz Hohler


Alex Aebi,

Oliver Frey,

Angi Herter,

Nicola Liechti,

Tina Siegentaler,

Lia Stark,

Rahel Stricker,

Hans-Peter Wymann


Linda Malzacher (Feinlese Lektorat),

Rieke Krüger


Jeff Acheson,


Henri-Daniel Wibaut


Justin Stoneham

Illustration Ämtliplan

Corina Schulthess


Medienkonzeption und Planung

Peter Auchli

Film Grossprojektion

Yannick Mosimann

Sounddesign und Komposition

Knut Jensen,

Nasos Pechlivandis

Film Franz Hohler

Justin Stoneham


Audioflair GmbH


Claire Huguenin,

Katharina Lienhard

Sprecher:innen Kinderspur

Albon Sovilla,

Lia Stark


Bildung und Vermittlung

Beatrice Baeriswyl,

Andrea Röhrig,

Julia Sonderegger

Marketing und Kommunikation

Stefanie Christ,

Sonja Delz,

Zinaida Frosio,

Céline Leimer

Pressefotografie und Dokumentation

Nelly Rodriguez


 Stefanie Christ,

Zinaida Frosio,

Simon Jäggi

Technik und Bauten


Christian Bähler


Stephan Schlup,

Micha Ribeli


Hansruedi Christen,

Leoni Haller,

Michael Hubler,

Denise Mast,

Samuel Müller,

Thomas Schmutz,

Markus Spahr,

Jan Tropschug


Karl Moser (KM Renovationen),

Bernhard Reber (Stockhorn Allround),

René Ledermann (Berling Partner)


Christian Bähler,

Marc Bähler,

Denise Mast,

Thomas Schmutz


Christian Albrecht

(Chrystal Display Electronics AG)


Christian Bähler,

Piotr Wienczek (Gasser & Bertschy)


Mica Ostermeier,

Christa Wenger (Matí AG)


Marco Zwahlen (Lettra Design)

Maler- und Tapezierarbeiten

Burkhard + Co AG,

Alexandra Capaul,

Thomas Schmutz


Constantin Latt,

Micha Ribeli,

Stephan Schlup

Bodenlegearbeiten Eingang, Ausgang

Daniel Stern Bodenbeläge

Thanks to

Lucca Barbery, Hannes Baur, Lena Gubler, Lene Halter, Stefan Hertwig, Sidney Kämpfer, Sarah Pearson Perret, Philippe Steiner

Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL, Flora di Berna, Info Fauna, Public Eye

Sustainability in the exhibition

Bei Konzept und Umsetzung der Ausstellung haben wir grossen Wert auf Nachhaltigkeit gelegt. Dabei sind wir den Prinzipien der Kreislaufwirtschaft gefolgt.

  • Reduce: Wir haben versucht, möglichst wenig neue Rohstoffe zu verwenden.
  • Reuse: Die Technik stammt, wo immer es ging, aus dem Bestand des Museums. Das Mobiliar besteht vollständig aus wiederverwendeten Objekten — aus unserem Museum, aus Brockenhäusern, von Verkaufsplattformen oder es sind Leihgaben.
  • Recycle: Die Umsetzung folgte dem Ziel, die Materialien nach der Aus­stellung weiterverwenden, weiterverarbeiten oder kompostieren zu können.
  • Nachhaltiges Design: Wo wir neue Materialien einsetzen mussten, war der Aspekt der Nachhaltigkeit das wichtigste Kriterium. Der Grundbau besteht aus Schwartenhölzern, die als Restholz in der Holzproduktion anfallen. Das Holz aus hiesigen Wäldern stammt von der Sägerei Thomas Zürcher in Arni. Die verwendete Farbe wird aus Lehm produziert und ist organisch. Der Holzbau kann nach der Ausstellung kompostiert werden. Der Boden besteht aus Recyclingfilz (100 % PES Recycling).

With the kind support of:

  • Verein des Naturhistorischen Museums Bern
  • Berner Kantonalbank
  • Gesellschaft zu Zimmerleuten
  • Burgergemeinde Bern