Walmart, one of the biggest retail corporations in the U.S., has filed a patent for an autonomous robot bee, eliciting comparisons to the British futuristic show Black Mirror, which addresses the possibilities and perils of technology.
Robot bees are more formally known as pollination drones, and they are being designed to carry pollen between plants just like regular bees. However, the drones would rely upon technology like sensors and cameras, instead of sensitive antennae, legs and wings.
The number of commercial U.S. honeybees is on the rise, and the number of deaths to the mysterious colony collapse disorder (CCD) is down, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture honeybee health survey released earlier this month. But it’s not all coming up roses for America’s bees.