The plight of bees has been wildly reported and discussed in recent years. This apocalyptic crisis has been reported from CCN to Rolling Stone, with naysayers throwing their 2 cents in the lot. After all, without bees, there is no food. Literally, there is no food. Bees pollinate our plants providing us with the food produced by such pollination. All those flowers blooming now? Fruit tree flowers turn into, well, fruit. But only if they are pollinated.
Well, drones are here to save the day! Or are they?
NPR ran a story recently on a project to partially solve the bee epidemic, bee drones. A discussion with Eirjiro Miyako, a researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, discussed their efforts to develop a drone to aid in plant pollination.
I do not doubt the ability of Miyako to use drones to aid in pollination. I do doubt the entire approach. It seems as though we encounter problems, problems we have created, we attempt to solve them without truly solving them. The solution to pollinating plants is bees. This summary from Science Daily suggests bees have been around for 100 million years. 100 million years.
You cannot simply replace a species this old and integral to evolution with modern technology. If we lose bees, everything will likely be gone. The solution to dying bees is to prevent the bees from dying. While I don’t dismiss Miyako’s work, I do think it can be important, it delineates away from the real issue and doesn’t properly address what the problem really is. It uses a Snoopy band-aid on a mortar wound.
I don’t know the solution. I do know that I can attempt to lend my hand to saving this critical species.