Pollination is an extremely important process where flowers and bees both play vital roles in its success. The link between flowers and bees is called symbiosis which means that they depend on each other mutually. Sadly, there has been a dwindling population of pollinating bees over the years but there has been a new buzz on pollinating drones as a solution.
In North America alone, the role of honeybees in pollination promotes the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops, that include apples, melons, broccoli and blueberries. Plan Bee Drone was proposed by Anna Haldewang, a 24-year-old student at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. She wanted more people to know about the significance of bees to human life.
Plan Bee is a personal robotic bee that is controlled by a smart device designed to resemble bees to pollinate flowers and crops. To enable cross-pollination, the drone sucks the pollen in from a plant and expels it on other flowers.
Pollination made her think about bees, Haldewang was struck by honeybees’ struggles during research. She said, “I had no idea about the danger to honeybee colonies and that bees were disappearing,”. It induced her to introduce an educational product that addressed both her class assignment and would help to spread awareness about the role of bees in food ecosystem. You will require sun, water, soil and cross-pollination for the process to happen, said Haldewang.
she designed a prototype of Plan Bee, a hand-sized yellow-and-black device which looks nothing like a bee. She said, she wanted to give it the essence of a bee without replicating the insect exactly.
Haldewang had undergone 50 design variations before designing the final version. The device is made with a pair of propellers, plastic-shell body and a foam core to keep it lightweight. Each of the drone’s six sections has tiny holes via which the device sucks in pollen from a flower when it hovers over it.