Bee populations have been shrinking around the world for years now and scientists are pointing to the use of pesticides as a reason for the decline. This is a major concern for agriculture as the winged-insects are the world’s pollinators. Walmart is trying to solve this problem and applied for a patent for ‘drone-pollinators’ earlier this month.
Robotic drone bees to pollinate crops
On March 8th, Walmart applied for a patent that describes various methods and systems to pollinate crops with the help of drones. The use of pesticides is seen as one of the major factors behind the year-long decline in pollinating insects such as bees but also ants, butterflies, beetles, and wasps. In the past, Walmart has tried to pollinate crops with crop-duster planes but with limited success. The company is now looking at drones outfitted with pollen-detector sensors as a possible solution.
“We’re always thinking about new concepts and ways that will help us further enhance how we service customers, but we don’t have any further details to share on these patents at this time,” a spokesperson for Walmart emailed, according to CBS News.
Walmart is not the only company that is looking to drones as a solution. Last year a team of Japanese scientists developed a drone to cross-pollinate lilies. Another company called BioCarbon Engineering aims to regrow the earth’s forest with the help of drones, dramatically increasing the number of trees that can be planted compared to the traditional way of planting them by hand.
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