Pollinating Drones

Have you ever wondered where are all the bees going? In reality, they are not going anywhere, they are getting killed off by insecticides and pesticides.  Even with the bee population dying scientists have found a unique way to take their place in nature… drones.  Scientists have been thinking of a way for drones to be the next pollinators if bees become extinct.

 

Bees Contribution to Our Food Source

How do bees contribute to our crops survival?  Bees contribute to most of our crops by pollinating them, so they can survive. Most of our crops require bees to survive.  What will happen to our crops if the bee population dies out?  We could see a decline in produce in the super markets with about half of the fruits and vegetables gone.  The other produce we buy will cost more because of the drop in the overall food supply. Bees also pollinate most of the plants on earth. If the bee population dies out then the plants that the bees pollinate will in turn go extinct.  A lot of animals around the world are herbivores, which means that they only eat plants.  Bees not being around to pollinate plants will create serious food shortages for many herbivores.  For example, deer eat plants and flowers, and wolves eat deer.  It’s easy and clear to see the dangers of a declining bee population on the earth’s overall ecosystem. Is it possible that Drones can really help?

 

Drones as Bees

Scientists have come up with a way for tiny drones to pollinate plants. Scientists have tested how the drones will be used to pollinate flowers but are far from perfecting drone pollination in general.  The first test that was conducted included gel delivered by a drone with pollen that would stick to the flower stem, but the pollen wouldn’t remain on the gel long before falling off.  The second, more successful, test was with horse hair because it acted as a bee’s fuzzy exterior, a better more natural place for pollen to attach. Constructing and operating a single drone is not that difficult, the problem lies in the automation and management of hundreds or even thousands of tiny drones. Many questions arise like; air space issues and even pollution. Another question is how much human involvement is needed to manage a drone pollination program. The bottom line is that the idea of drone pollination is interesting and holds a lot of potential but many important obstacles must be overcome. Stay tuned for more ways on how drones could be used in future posts.

 

Check out our website for ways to become a certified drone operator just in case you might be asked to pollinate the earth.