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Robo-Bees Might Help With the Dying Bee Population

Justin K., Contributor

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The bee population has been slowly decreasing and pollination has been a problem. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, roughly three-quarters of the world’s flowering plants and food crops depend on animals to pollinate them, in which bees specialize. However the number of bees has declined greatly, with certain species being listed as endangered. Recently, researchers in Japan have found a way to substitute the bees.

The scientists in Japan created a gel that stuck to small drones which would carry pollen from flower to flower. According to livescience.com, the gel (made by study leader Eijiro Miyako) was discovered after Miyako tried to make liquids with electrical conductivity eight years ago. However, he discovered something new after he dropped the liquid on the floor. He realized that the gel absorbed lots of dust. He now intends to use it for the bee drones with the gel as the pollen grabber.

The scientists originally planned to use the gel on flies and other critters, but Miyako wasn’t convinced and thought it would be too difficult, so they decided to use drones instead. The scientists experimented with the drones to see if they were efficient. According to livescience.com, they followed three important steps. First, they put a patch of horse hair on the robot to imitate the bee’s fur. They then coated the bottom of the drone with gel. Finally, they tested the drones with Japanese lilies and saw that the drones without fur failed to pollinate while the ones with gel and fur managed to pollinate with a success rate of 37%.

According to livescience.com, Miyako states that the drone is limited for now because it will be difficult to manually pilot the drones. He also says the drone model’s cost ($100) and battery life (3 minutes) will have to improved to meet standards. However, once those problems are fixed, the use of GPS and artificial intelligence will definitely help start the drone pollination.

This seems like an interesting and complicated idea to me. However, I agree that the drones’ cost and battery life will be a challenge to the scientists. But, I am confident that once that is cleared, the rest will not be too hard.

Source: http://www.livescience.com/57827-robot-bees-could-aid-pollination.html

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Robo-Bees Might Help With the Dying Bee Population”

  1. Lillian Kelly on December 19th, 2017 1:29 pm

    Hmmm. I agree that the cost and battery life will be a difficult task to deal with. But, we have plenty of very smart people in this world. Someone will come up with a solution.!

  2. Laura larios on February 5th, 2018 9:05 am

    Um I don’t believe robo bees should even be a thing because they can be hacked and programed to kill people. You will understand me if you see the “hated in the nation” episode of tv show “Black Mirror”. I know it’s just a show but, I mean, it can happen.

  3. Karina Larios :) on February 5th, 2018 9:07 am

    I think bees should just go into extinction. No one likes them anyways. They are scary creatures.

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Robo-Bees Might Help With the Dying Bee Population