A student at the Savannah College of Art and Design may have developed the answer to the world’s bee problems. Anna Haldewang, an Industrial Design major, created a bee drone named “Plan Bee” that can hover over a flower, suck in the pollen, store the pollen in its plastic body cavity, and later eject the pollen, just like a real honeybee, CNN reports.
Bee colonies have been in danger for years, but this threat to agriculture and the environment was made clear in October of 2016 when the Fish and Wildlife Service placed seven species of bees on the endangered species list for the first time, according to Mashable. This listing of bees as endangered is particularly impactful in North America, where bees are vital to the production of “at least 90 commercially grown crops, including apples, blueberries, melons and broccoli,” according to CNN.
Haldewang’s “Plan Bee” allows the drone to cross-pollinate crops much like a live honeybee would. Haldewang has filed a patent application for her drone and plans to use the “Plan Bee” for educational purposes, allowing people to create custom gardens and crops. The Dean of the School of Design Victor Emoli told CNN that he hopes one day this technology can be used in large-scale farming to help solve the problems facing a bee-endangered world.