#1499: BeeBots

Bees, on which we rely for fertilisation of food crops, are having a hard time dealing with various pests such as the varroa mite.

In order to help them, today’s invention attempts to help honeybees find sources of food more easily.

Given that we know so much about the ‘waggle dance’ which informs the hive about the location of food, the invention takes the form of a small, simulated bee on a stick. This would be inserted into a hive and waggled by a computer driven motor so as to simulate the dance of a returning forager.

The direction and distance of the source of food, as represented in the simulated dance, would be programmed to help direct bees more effectively to reliable, known sources of high quality food (some of which might be left by beekeepers).

This would also allow us to determine more precisely which fields the bees would pollinate (supporting the existing industry of mobile bee pollination).

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