(The Jerusalem Post) Date farmers located in the Jordan Valley and Arava have deployed an innovative solution to overcome labor shortages caused by the coronavirus outbreak: aerial pollination using drones. The drone operators are Israeli Blue White Robotics and New York-based Dropcopter, who have successfully tested drone-based palm pollination in recent months at the Arava Institute. The experiment at the desert research facility was carried out in response to declining bee populations. Aerial pollination has become increasingly important due to recent flooding in the Jordan Valley, which has prevented ground pollination in many areas.
(Syracuse.com) Dropcopter is a startup company that uses drones instead of bees to pollinate orchards. For the second year in a row, Dropcopter has found itself a finalist in a state-funded business competition. And if it’s lucky enough to be one of the winners again, it says it will use any money it receives to expand its staff.
(PBS NewsHour) With bees in decline, some see a business opportunity. A company called Dropcopter is trying to create a drone to spread pollen. Harvard University’s Wyss Institute is designing a miniature autonomous flying vehicle they call the Robobee that might be used for pollination. But some bee experts are skeptical of a technological fix and say we need to focus more on protecting the real live bees that are still here.