Keepers ince insects have been around for so long, it's not surprising that ancient artifacts show human-insect interactions. A painting made by cave dwellers in Spain more than 15,000 years ago depicts someone raiding a honeybee hive.There are 4,000-year-old hieroglyphics in pyramids showing Egyptians honoring dung beetles as their sun god. Cicadas carved ofjade that are more than 2,500 years old have been found as part of Chinese burials, and Chinese folklore suggests that people believed cicadas could help them be reborn.

Within recorded history, humans have used bees for honey and beeswax, silkworms for silk, and a protective covering of resin made by scale insects in India and Burma to make shellac.

Insects have also provided the inspiration for inventions, including paper, sonar, and chemical weapons.The question is, once you start catching insects, what do you want to do with them? Options include: keeping them as pets, using them in experiments and research proj ects, creating an insect collection, harvesting their products, selling them as a business or, of course, simply observing them and then letting them go!

Bug Business

Japan is a small island that is home to millions of people.

There isn't much room for pet dogs and cats, so many Japanese people keep crickets, beetles, and fireflies as pets instead. The insects are sold in pet shops, train stations, department stores, and one company even puts them in vending machines. While most pet owners are happy to pay as little as $4.50 for an average-sized beetle, other pet owners think that bigger is better and are willing to pay extra to get a large beetle. Even so, it is hard to believe that in August 1999, a Japanese businessman paid an insect dealer $90,000 for one super-sized stag beetle.

Temporary Terranum

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