Dropcopter’s drones boost crop pollination by up to 60% in bad bee years


The Dropcopter drone is designed to pollen-bomb rows of crops following a pre-programmed route

A large percentage of the world’s food production relies on bee pollination, but what do we do when the bees can’t be relied on? US startup Dropcopter has just demonstrated that it can deliver a 25 to 60 percent boost in pollination rates using autonomous drones to pick up where the bees left off.

Much has been made of the collapse of bee populations worldwide, what the causes might be and what we might be able to do about it. It’s no small issue, given how much of the global food supply hangs in the balance.

Continue reading… “Dropcopter’s drones boost crop pollination by up to 60% in bad bee years”

‘Suddenly it was total mayhem’: Australian inventors celebrate success of revolutionary bee hive


Stuart Anderson and his son Cedar have invented a new bee hive which collects honey via taps and without having to disturb the bees.

Three years ago, a father and son in Australia finally unveiled a device they had spent a decade inventing: a beehive that releases honey via a tap, without needing to handle the bees.

Continue reading… “‘Suddenly it was total mayhem’: Australian inventors celebrate success of revolutionary bee hive”

RoboBees will pollinate crops instead of real bees


As soon as 10 years from now these RoboBees could artificially pollinate a field of crops.

Honeybees pollinate nearly one-third of the food we eat but they have been dying at unprecedented rates because of a mysterious phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder (CCD). The situation is so dire that in late June the White House gave a new task force just 180 days to devise a coping strategy to protect bees and other pollinators. The crisis is generally attributed to a mixture of disease, parasites, and pesticides.



Continue reading… “RoboBees will pollinate crops instead of real bees”

Bees ‘Self-Medicate’ when infected with some pathogens

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When faced with pathogenic fungi, bees line their hives with more propolis – the waxy, yellow substance seen here.

Research from North Carolina State University shows that honey bees “self-medicate” when their colony is infected with a harmful fungus, bringing in increased amounts of antifungal plant resins to ward off the pathogen…

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Explosives and Pesticides Can be Detected by Using Bee Venom


MIT scientists discover that bee venom can detect explosives and some pesticides.

Scientists from MIT have discovered that by coating carbon nanotubes in bee venom, they can create ultra-sensitive detectors for explosives such as TNT, as well as at least two different types of pesticides. This means that bees and their stingers could become important to making better environmental sensors.

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