What’s all the buzz about bees?
“Dropcopter” drones mimic bees in California and New York, delivering pollen to apples, almonds, and cherry orchards from ten feet above the trees.
Precise timing and delivery of vital pollens led to 25 to 50 percent increases in yields as well as superior fruit in the first three years of testing. Whereas bees may opt out of night assignments or stay in when the weather is too cold, Dropcopter drones work at the whim of their operators, pollinating 30 to 40 acres per hour in 25 to 30 minute shifts.
Meanwhile, Australia-based Bee Innovative wants to partner with drone experts in North Dakota to upgrade the drones it uses with its bee tracking technology.
“BeeDar” can track bees as they fly and has bee recognition software to identify types of bees as well as bee disease. Learning more about how weather and terrain influence bee activity could, the company believes, increase crop yields in the future.
Video Spotlight: Drone pollinates Central New York apple orchard