Robot Bees Create Buzz As They Promise To Help In Pollination
In Japan, robot bees are making buzz as the invention promises to help save the world by replacing the important functions of bees. Due to the rapid decline of bee population, farmers worry about the future of agriculture as bees, natural pollinators, help in the proliferation of plants. Now, scientists have managed to turn an ordinary looking tiny drone into a remote-controlled pollinator by attaching horsehairs coated with a special, sticky gel to its underbelly.
The system might not still be ready to be sent in agricultural fields, but the purpose of the robot and its ingenious design are enough to get some of the farmers' hopes up. Described in the journal Chem, the system is said to be able to help pave the way to developing automated pollination techniques. This kind of promise, the development of robot bees, comes at a time when bee colonies are suffering precipitous declines.
90 percent of flowering plants and one-third of human food crops rely on animal pollinators for reproduction, according to the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. The bees are the chief pollinators, but due to their dwindling population caused by a combination of different factors such as pesticides, virus, and climate change, there is now a potential threat to agriculture. The ecosystem can also be seriously disrupted due to this problem, the Live Science reports.
Scientists developing the invention say that for now, none of them are especially effective yet. "One pollination technique requires the physical transfer of pollen with an artist's brush or cotton swab from male to female flowers," researchers wrote in the study. Unfortunately, the process requires much time and effort. In sum, most of the designs that they have tested still need more time to actually work, the Stuff reports.
In the meantime, one of the more promising designs come from scientists in Japan where they use a special gel which they discovered through serendipity. Now, they're using the material for picking up pollen grains. The scientists do not think such robot bees would replace bees altogether, but could simply help bees with their pollinating duties.
World Hunger May End By Farming Insects For Food
A new nutirion-based research in Finland have developed raw ingredients from mealworms and crickets that might be the solution to end world hunger. Included in the list of food that uses insects successfully are meatballs and falafel.
Wing-Deforming Virus Threatens To Kill Off Bees
Scientist have now confirmed how the wing-deforming virus is tranmitted among bees, including how exactly it can possibly kill off the entire population. Honey bees have suffered several threats these recent years and the virus is just adding in the list that threatens their survival.
Beekeepers Step Up To Save Honey Bees
Beekeepers in South Carolina are joining forces to save bee colonies by offering beekeeping classes. The classes raise awareness on the importance of honey bees, teach how to cultivate bees, and how to harvest your own honey.
Drone Bees May Take Over Pollination Functions As Performed By Real Bees
Considering the decline in bees and other natural flower pollinators in the US, Japan and other parts of the world, scientists are hard put to the task of creating artificial pollinators such as drones to help undertake the task of pollinating flowers for crop yield. This idea of drone pollinators is still in its infancy, but it is already being tested in several parts of the world, and promises to be perfect with time.
Mark Zuckerberg Gives $50 Million To Scientists
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have given $50 million to selected scientists to work on new researches. The goal of the grant is to fund scientific work that will cure all diseases.
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Welcome To InsurTech: The Next Generation of Insurers
With how quickly technology has advanced in the past couple of decades, it's no wonder that it is changing many industries as we know it. Insurtech is sure to give insurance companies a new look and a modern business model to go by.
How Do Personal Emergency Response Systems Work?
Personal emergency response systems, known as PERS for short, are systems that help people to raise the alarm and get immediate help when a medical or personal emergency occurs. They are ideal for older people and anyone with a mobility issue or an injury or illness that can cause falls.
Game Developers’ Different Roles in the Studio
Learn about the different professionals involved in developing video games. Becoming a game developer is one of the coolest jobs around and your 14-year-old self, perched on the edge of your bed as you play PlayStation, will thank you for making such an awesome career move.
Surviving Your First Year of College
You Did It! You’re Off to College! Congratulations! You have finished high school and are off to college. The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming, and you have not even graduated yet! However, beware of the pitfalls. The allure of going to college is often associated with one word—freedom. You are leaving home to be on your own. You can have all the friends you want, stay up as late as you want, and perhaps spend as much money as you want. If you keep your head, you can avoid the problems associated with college life.