Bee Drones

robobee

© Eijiro Miyako

It had been forty years since Eijiro Miyako and his colleagues at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology developed the first generation robo-bees. Pesticides, land clearing, and the effects of climate change had resulted in a steady decline in the bee population. Without bees, many plant species, including crop plants from apples to almonds, could not be pollinated and reproduce.

By the tenth generation of the tiny drones, they were self-replicating, self-repairing, solar-powered dynamos. They did not replace the natural bee population, but they greatly enhanced pollination efforts, allowing flowering plants to survive and finally to thrive again.

Each individual robo-bee’s AI formed a collection of nodes, which, when linked to the population of drones as a whole, formed an intelligence that was arguably sentient.

The problem was finding a way for the natural bee population to either develop an immunity to what was killing them so they could increase their numbers to a viable level, or eliminate the causes of their die off.

The drone AI quickly realized the cause of the die off of bees, and many other environmental problems, was the human race. Robo-bees could go even where the natural bees could not, so the almost complete extinction of humanity was ensured by swarms of millions of these tiny assassins.

I read a story yesterday called Robotic bee could help pollinate crops as real bees decline at “New Scientist,” and thought there could be another side of the story.

This is a pretty grim outcome, and hardly superversive, but if you push your biosphere too far, the biosphere will push back.

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9 thoughts on “Bee Drones

  1. My dad was an art teacher, taught in city schools for forty-two years [besides other ways he worked to supplement that income, as full-time teaching is now almost a hobby of dedication]. He kept some flowers at his place of work, which was a program for kids from the city and the county all around, focusing on art.

    My dad retired over a decade ago. But at the funerary visitation service, a few days ago, one of the other teachers who worked in that program, too, reminded me and other people that he used to go around with a paint brush to pollinate the flowers by hand. They were inside on a third floor level with windows usually closed.

    Liked by 1 person

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