Walmart set to use ‘robot bees’ to pollinate crops.
Drone technology is to be used in an effort to re-pollinate crops.
It can’t have escaped your attention that the bee numbers are dwindling. After the world was scratching their heads over the reason as to why so many bees were dying, the cause was revealed.
The world of heavy pesticides and other agro-chemicals is to blame. It was found that certain pesticides are incredibly harmful to bees and are killing them off in huge numbers.
Ecologists fear that if the bee numbers dwindle any more it could do serious damage to the entire planet’s eco-system. Bees are incredibly important in the pollination of plants, trees and edible produce.
Now, Walmart have announced that they are filing for patents for ‘robot bees’ to do the same work. The patents have been filed for “unmanned vehicles,” to be used to pollinate crops.
Working together with Amazon, Walmart hope to utilize these tiny drones to do the work of bees that simply don’t exist any more.
Reuters have reported:
“Walmart may see drone technology as one way to get food from farms to store shelves faster and more cheaply to compete with Amazon.com Inc., following its purchase of Whole Foods Market last year and the expansion of discount chains like Aldi and Lidl,”
The move comes as consumer demand means that companies are trying to distance themselves away from ‘chemical spraying’ of crops, and look for other alternatives.
CB Insights report:
“Drones could spray pesticides across a more targeted set of crops, rather than the blanket approach used today. The patent notes that “chemical spraying of crops is expensive and may not be looked upon favorably by some consumers.”
Pollination drones, on the other hand, could help offset the loss of bee populations over the past few years. Walmart’s “applicators” would carry pollen from one plant to another, and use sensors to verify the transfer was successful.”
Walmart say that they are excited about the prospect of robot bees, and that they are always working towards non-chemical alternatives to problems.
They told USA Today:
“We’re always thinking about new concepts and ways that will help us further enhance how we serve customers, but we don’t have any further details to share on these patents at this time,”
Photo via Greenpeace/Youtube.