The National Innovation Challenge is on again, and in contention is a team led by Paulo de Souza, of the CSIRO, which has designed technology to microchip honeybees to track them as part of the international effort to solve the mystery of the collapse of the insects’ populations worldwide.
Part of this work is to develop a nano sensor the size of a grain of sand with its own power source, data storage and power storage!
The decline of the pollinators is threatening global agriculture. Factors such as parasites, air and water pollution and pesticides have been implicated but no one knows which are mostly to blame.
The scientists working on the CSIRO swarm sensing project have microchipped thousands of bees in the field in Tasmania and the Amazon to conduct experiments to observe the relative impact of the stressors.
“We are looking at the behaviour of the bees as they become exposed to these stressors,” de Souza says.
The project has been announced as a finalist for the Shell Innovation Award and winners are decided by votes. You can show your support by voting here.