This agri-tech company suggests mechanical pollination may be the solution to global bee population decline

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Bees are some of the most important members of the environment. They are responsible for the majority of the pollination that takes place in plants. Without pollination, a large percentage of plants would not be able to reproduce, and consequently, produce fruits and vegetables.   

National Geographic published a journal in February this year, stating that the number of bees worldwide has been on a rapid decline, with research claiming that you are 50 percent less likely to spot bees in areas of North America than you would 46 years ago. Edete Precision Technologies for Agriculture, an agri-tech company based in Israel, is addressing this challenge by developing artificial pollination technologies.  

According to a scientific journal published in Science, researchers used a complex modeling process to suggest that the decline in the bee population is largely in part due to the drastic changes in climate, alongside commercial use of pesticides, destruction of habitats, and conversion of wild-lands into agriculture. Also, in recent times, there have been numerous reports of the arrival of “Murder Hornets” in the United States, which pose a significant threat to bees.  

Yesterday CBS News in the United States reported that researchers at the Washington State University described the destructive capabilities of the hornets – a few of them can wipe out an entire colony in a few hours.  

Researchers at Edete Precision Technologies for Agriculture have stated that they developed an artificial pollination service, which can assist and even mimic the pollination process by honeybees. The artificial process includes mechanically harvesting the pollen from flowers and distribution by using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors, which is a remote sensing method that uses light to measure distance. LIDAR sensors are commonly used by airplanes and helicopters.  

So far, the company has constructed two pollen production facilities in Israel and Australia and has successfully demonstrated artificial pollination fertilization that increased yield in almond orchards. According to Reuters, the company hopes to scale up and be ready to sell its products on the market in 2023. 

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