‘Plan Bee’ – A Robotic Bee Could Pollinate Crops
When you think of things that could possibly devastate mankind, one would usually think of nuclear war, a plague, something hitting the earth from space, and so on. What you don’t really think about is that the extinction of bees could be just as bad. In the case that something like that could happen, some scientists got together to develop a robotic bee drone to help the bees out in pollinating flowers to improve crops and the food they bring in.
To illustrate just how important bees are, around 3/4 of all crops relies upon bees and other insects to be pollinated. Things like pesticides, land clearing and climate change — all human causes — have really hit at the population of bees in the past few decades.
Eijiro Miyako and his colleagues at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have created a drone that transports the pollen between the flowers just like a bee. The drone is about 4 centimeters wide and weighs 15 grams. You didn’t really think a 2 foot drone is going to be hovering around the flowers, did you?
How it works is the bottom of the drone is covered in horse hair and coated in a sticky gel. When the drone flies onto a flower, the pollen grains stick to the gel on the horse hair, then when the drone travels to the next flower, it rubs off just like a bee.
Feature image is a bee drone concept developed by Anna Haldewang, a Industrial design major at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. View complete article on her here
“We hope this will help to counter the problem of bee declines,” says Miyako. “But importantly, bees and drones should be used together.”
I really hope something like this will come to aid the bees , but I hope that we as a species can stop shooting ourselves in the foot by killing off species necessary for our own survival. Have a look at the video below to see this bee drone in action:
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.