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
Top 5 Ways to Make Your Skin Glow
Transforming your skin should not be a huge challenge. We've prepared some expert tips from dermatologists and other skin professionals. These tips will help you restore the radiant and healthy, natural glow on your skin. First appearances count, so take the time to study these tips and use the products mentioned. You'll find that maintaining that youthful glow is not a big deal.
Johns Hopkins Researchers Discover Material That Could Someday Power Quantum Computer
Quantum computers with the ability to perform complex calculations, encrypt data more securely and more quickly predict the spread of viruses, may be within closer reach thanks to a new discovery by Johns Hopkins researchers.
Black Holes Stunt Growth of Dwarf Galaxies
UC Riverside astronomers find large-scale winds associated with active black holes in small galaxies suppress star formation
'Resident Evil 6' and 'Resident Evil 5' Demos are Now Available on Nintendo Switch
Fans of "Resident Evil" can finally play the demos for the fifith and sixth installment on Switch.