In an example of life imitating art, scientists have come up with a technology straight out of an episode of Black Mirror: Bee-like pollinating drones.
A team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan engineered the devices using a combination of horsehair, $USD 100 drones and a sticky ion gel.
It’s pretty simple really – first, the drones fly into flowers much like a bee would. Inside the flower, pollen gets stuck to the drone due to the combination of the ion gel and horsehair. That same pollen is then shaken off into the next flower, and so on. It’s just your run of the mill birds and the robots bees.
Popular Mechanics reports that Eijio Miyako, a chemist at AIST actually created the sticky ion gel by accident in 2007. The gel, which Miyako considered a failure, sat unused for a decade. When Miyako picked it up again recently he was pleased to find that it was still sticky and figured it would be perfect for his new project.
Miyako is now the project leader behind the “Robo-bees”. In the video above, you can see the first time that a drone has successfully pollinated a flower, in this case Japanese lilies. Blink and you’ll miss it!
Full article: http://www.techly.com.au/2017/02/10/these-robo-bees-may-one-day-pollinate-the-earth/
Jan 31 and temperatures are expected to hit a high of 69F today. The blooms are already here!
This weekend the weather was so nice that my dad and I decided to pop the cover off of a few hives for a peek of what’s going on inside. We didn’t go any further as nights are still in the 30’s. The bees are active, bringing in much pollen to grow that population.
Weather is warming this week even though there’s a storm coming in. Get ready bees!
A reminder that our region is starting to get cooler (minus those weird weekends that have peaked to Summer-like temperatures) and the rains are coming. We did our last hive maintenance of the year and will let them “bee” until February or the first warm up. Things to do on your last maintenance:
- Remove queen excluder
- Remove empty honey supers
- Harvest any excess honey (we weren’t that lucky this season)
- Ensure the bees have enough honey stored for Winter
- Put a roof over the hive to keep the hive from getting wet
- Entrance reducer or for those in areas that have rodent issues, put up that entrance screen
- Clean out dead hives and store woodware
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators say they’re tightening rules on how much farmers can use a potentially dangerous pesticide in the nation’s most productive agricultural state.
Brian Leahy, director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, told The Associated Press about the new rule for Telone ahead of the announcement Thursday. It’s used to kill pests in soil before planting crops.
California lists Telone as a chemical known to cause cancer. The agency says it’s the only state to restrict how much can be applied.
Merced County sweet potato farmer Bob Weimer says the rule has no logic because his fields are far from people, posing no health risk. He fears rising food prices.
Caroline Cox at the advocacy group Center for Environmental Health says no direct cases of illness have been linked to Telone but it’s the state’s job is to protect residents.
Fall swarms have been going on for a few weeks now. Usually they are pretty small swarms. This queen with only a few bees.