Honey bee pop­u­la­tions have been dimin­ishing at alarming rates in recent years. Many envi­ron­men­tal­ists and sci­en­tists have brought aware­ness to the bees’ sig­nif­i­cant role in the ecosystem.

With such prob­lems as Colony Col­lapse Dis­order (attrib­uted to cel­lular phone towers dis­rupting com­mu­ni­ca­tion fre­quen­cies of the bees, and to genet­i­cally mod­i­fied foods), pes­ti­cide poi­soning, ‘super mites,’ and other unde­ter­mined causes, many researchers are attempting to find ways to stem the unset­tling tide of declining bee pollination.

One team, com­prised of sci­en­tists from Har­vard School of Engi­neering and Applied Sci­ences as well as North­eastern Uni­ver­sity’s Depart­ment of Biology, has arrived at a pos­sible solu­tion through bio­mimicry tech­nology: the Robobees. Sci­en­tific Amer­ican magazine’s cov­erage of the micro air vehi­cles’ inno­va­tion has the team leaders sharing: “[Back i]n 2009 [we] began to seri­ously con­sider what it would take to create a robotic bee colony. We won­dered if mechan­ical bees could repli­cate not just an individual’s behavior but the unique behavior that emerges out of inter­ac­tions among thou­sands of bees. We have now cre­ated the first RoboBees—flying bee-​​size robots—and are working on methods to make thou­sands of them coop­erate like a real hive.”

Read the article at Examiner →