Pollinating drone bees can’t replace honey bees, ecologists calculate







The successful demonstration of remote-controlled “drones-bees” by Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has been making news since Tuesday. But the buzz surrounding the drone’s applications could be much hyped, according to at least two independent estimates by biologists. Many popular news websites reported that the university’s drone-bees could successfully replace real bees in pollination if they go extinct, but this might be optimistic. First, it’s not economically feasible to mass produce the robot insects. Second, there’s a flaw in understanding the science of pollination. The Netherlands is one of the largest exporters of food and agricultural products in…

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