Given our general reliance on something called “food” you’d think the issue of pollination – and its general decline – might be higher up the world’s agenda. Over 80% of crops require insect pollination, but growers can no longer rely on the dwindling wild bee population.
But it’s a complex problem. Pollinating crops with honey bees can pose a threat to indigenous wild bees who are forced to compete with honey bees for food and are then exposed to new diseases. AgTech startups are addressing this by working on artificial pollination innovations, or on methods to make honey bees more efficient and less impactful on wildlife.
BeeWise and BeeHero are solutions that enhance honeybees and their pollination efforts, for instance. But honeybees are ineffective pollinators for most types of crops. And some startups are trying to artificially pollinate but their solutions are limited to greenhouse plants. What is to be done?