How many times a day do you think about bees? If you are like me, it is an average of zero hours a day. Bees just are not my thing, but that does not mean that they are not the badass creatures they are. They are awesome that they are responsible for some of the most advanced products and technologies that we have today.
Robotic Bee Drones
Not many of us link bees to economic development, but apparently, we should. Unbeknownst to us, these tiny insects pollinate around $40 billion worth of produce every year, and that is in the U.S. alone. Nearly a third of all food is a product of bees and pollinators. Hence, the fact that the bee population has dwindled by 30% in the last decade should trouble us.
It did trouble Anna Haldewang, industrial design major at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Thus, she went and invented Plan Bee, a robot bee drone that will give real bees a hand in cross-pollinating. Plan Bee has tiny holes underneath that suck pollen while its vents on top release the pollen back out. How does it find the flowers? Through a UV camera.
An Algorithm for Fighting Crime
In grade school, we were taught that bees form well-organized societies by having rankings. The scout bees look for food sources, the worker bees collect food, and the supervisor bees wait in the colony. Then, of course, there is the queen bee.
What does this have to do with fighting crime?
Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) thought that social networks that pose a threat to humanity—like those linked to organized crime and jihadist terrorism—are formed like a bee colony. There are rankings. If they can find out which “nodes” of these networks to attack or infiltrate, law enforcement authorities will have a better chance of stopping the operations of the network. Hence, they developed an algorithm that does exactly that. It is currently in the stages of development.
Sturdy Honeycomb Structure
If you are wondering what kind of structure is used to keep tool machines, helicopters, snowboards, furniture, LED technologies, and even racing shells strong and resistant to impact, you guessed it right. It is the honeycomb structure.
People have noticed how honeycombs are formed and replicated to develop a technology that allows us to create sturdy materials with minimal weight and material cost. One of the most commonly used materials using the honeycomb structure is the aluminum honeycomb. This material is used to make panels for roofs, facades, doors, floors, and more. Aluminum honeycombs are particularly good materials because they are lightweight, stiff, fire-resistant, flat, and resistant to compression, shear, and corrosion.
However feared their stings are, bees are an amazing species with lots of uses for both man and nature. Their characteristics and behaviors are inspiring the most advanced technologies and innovative products today. Efforts of conservation of the bee population are advancing. We hope that they accomplish their goals and keep our buzzing friends around for a long time.