Faced with the decline of bees in the world today and its disastrous consequences, Japanese researchers decided to act. This is how a drone capable of producing bubbles that could pollinate flowers was thought. To understand how such a thing is made possible, let's put it in context.
In exceptional situation, exceptional measure
If nothing is done, nature, and indeed the world we live in, could come to a dramatic end. The work that bees do is absolutely essential to maintain life on Earth. They make sure maintain the ecosystem and the food chain through pollination. This is why it would be enough for them to cease to exist for everything to collapse. But how is it possible?
If no flower is pollinated, the animals that feed on it will be deprived of their meal and will in turn disappear. The disappearance of phytophagous animals would lead to that of their predators, and so on. Ultimately, the threat hangs over the entire food chain, including man.
To counter this apocalyptic scenario, the Japanese Advanced Institute of Science and Technology used the means of its time. The solution would be embodied in a drone producing bubbles. It may sound crazy, and yet the concept is ingenious. It would be easier to use than drones formerly thought.
Pollination in a pear orchard allowed thanks to pollination by soap bubbles. Credit: Eijiro Miyako
Pollination under a new aspect
Let’s look at the mechanism of the device that can counter the disappearance of bees. With a process that can generate bubbles, they will transport pollen grains. Once the bubbles explode safely on the flowers, the pollination process will be started. With 90% success rate according to the researchers, the effectiveness of the approach has been demonstrated.
Its movement speed is 2 meters per second at a height of a few meters from the ground. The drone can also producing soap bubbles almost continuously, and these will be able to transport 2000 pollen seeds individually. The researchers made every effort to optimize the composition of the bubbles to make them as pollen-rich as possible. Thus calcium, potassium, magnesium and other chemical elements have been added. Capable of being easily generated and transported, the bubbles will disappear as soon as they are done.
Although it may seem fanciful, this concept deserves to be considered. Rather than intensifying the use of pesticides which will only further damage the situation, we should consider this solution. In addition to leaving no trace behind it, no flowers will be damaged in the affected area during the process. So this concept, as unusual as it may be, could relaunch pollination. The future will tell us if it will be able to change the future that awaits us.
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