Our World With No Bees: Robots to the Rescue?

Bees are in danger. Large numbers of them are dying, and scientists are still trying to pin down the exact cause, and how to stop it.

It might seem like an absurd question to ask, but what if there were no bees? There are obvious downsides, like a sudden shortage of Honey Nut Cheerios, but are there further reaching consequences? Yes. Yes, there are. The consequences of bees disappearing are mind-blowingly bad. Thankfully, people are doing something to try and protect the bees, or at least help protect us—if we can’t save them.

Did you know?

  1. Bees are pollinators, meaning they have a vital role in the reproduction of many plants.
  2. They don’t just make honey, they help pollinate a wide variety of crops such as apples, avocados, berries, and so much more.
  3. Bees are involved in over 15 billion dollars of US economic activity each year.
  4. The number of managed beehives is in decline, from 6 million beehives in 1947 to just 2.5 million in 2014.
  5. Bee loss rates have risen dramatically since 2006, with 44% of US bees dying from in the 2015-2016 year, much higher than previous annual loss rates.
  6. Bee populations are bouncing back somewhat in Canada, but the US is a source of 57% of imported food in Canada.
  7. Bee deaths don’t appear to be due to a single cause. These include mites, bacteria, pesticides, colony collapse disorder, and other issues, including increased environmental changes and urbanization; making finding a solution complex.
  8. Lower bee numbers impact crop cycles and increase the cost of food as beekeepers charge more.
  9.  Scientists are developing robo-bees to help with the pollination needs of our vital crops.