The Netherlands spends more money than any other European Union country to import insects, according to new data published by Statistics Netherlands.

For instance, in the first half of this year, the Netherlands spent €8.2m on importing live insects, five times more than in 2012.

The Netherlands, France and Belgium together account for almost 60% of insects imports to the EU.

According to the NL Times online, the Netherlands uses insects like bees and wasps to pollinate flowers and protect crops. Insects like mealworms and grasshoppers are processed into food for humans and animals.

Compared to 2012, the Netherlands is importing less bees, according to Statistics Netherlands. In 2012 a massive 60% of insects imported to the country were bees. In the first half of this year, it was 30%.

A third of the insects that are imported to the Netherlands, are exported again to other countries. The country exported a total value of €5.6m in insects in the first half of 2017, putting the Netherlands in third place in the EU. Belgium and Slovakia came in first and second.