Pollinators participate in the sexual reproduction of plants.
Whenever you eat an apple or sip your tea or coffee, you become the end user of that ancient relationship between the pollinators and the flowers.
However, bee health worldwide has been in decline since the 1990’s and most of the evidence is now pointing at the toxic pesticides created by Shell and Bayer and the loss of genetic biodiversity due to the proliferation of GMO by biotech companies like Monsanto.
But do not worry, those real life pollinators, the birds and the bees, may soon not even be needed for the future food needs of the ever increasing population of the world.
Harvard roboticists are developing a ‘solution’ to the coming crisis: swarms of tiny robot bees made of titanium and plastic that can pollinate those enormous fields of GMO cash crops.
The Harvard Microrobotics Lab has been working on its Micro Air Vehicles Project since early 2009.
Borrowing from the biomechanics and social organisation of bees, the team of researchers is undergoing the creation of tiny winged robots to fly from flower to flower, immune to the toxins dripping from petals, to spread pollen.
They even believe that they will soon be able to program the robobees to live in an artificial hive, coordinate algorithms and communicate amongst themselves about methods of pollination and location of particular crops.
Of course, published reports from the lab also describe potential military uses, including surveillance and mapping, but the penny-sized cyber-bees have yet to be outfitted with neurotoxin tipped stingers.
Russ McSpadden / Earth First