The GPS-enabled tech works alongside bees and other pollinators to help growers maximise crop health and growth
Spotted: According to research published in the journal One Earth, around 25 per cent fewer species of bees were found between 2006 and 2015 compared with pre-1990 figures. This is a problem for many reasons, not least because the pollination that bees provide is integral to growing myriad crops. While many startups are looking to protect bee health, BloomX, an Israeli company, is taking a different tack with its bio-mimicking technology.
BloomX’s pollinating system consists of small electric vehicles with mechanical arms that have been specifically designed to mimic the ‘buzz’ of bees and shake plant stems to release pollen as they pass. Rather than competing with the bees, the technology works alongside them to address any gaps. For instance, some bee species are particularly drawn to certain crops, leaving others under-pollinated.
What’s more, the company has developed predictive algorithms that allows growers to know the best times to pollinate and, therefore, optimise their yield. And each vehicle comes fitted with a GPS system so that farmers can easily track which plants are pollinated. By using its technology, BloomX estimates that farmers can see 30 per cent bigger yields (and 40 per cent, in the case of avocados), increased fruit size, and lower labour costs.
BloomX’s technology is available across the world, and its products have helped to pollinate over 50,000 avocado trees and almost two million blueberries.
Bees play an essential role in preserving the Earth’s delicately balanced biodiversity, and the Springwise archive is full of innovations protecting these pollinators. We have also spotted tree-shaped hives and insecticides that don’t harm bees.
Written By: Amanda Simms