New Trick Could Save Agriculture Even If All the Bees Die

Pollen Jocks

Should bees die off at a catastrophic rate, a team of scientists has a new technique they say we could use to continue to pollinate plants without them.

It turns out that soap bubbles — like the ones you might make with a kid’s toy — can carry pollen as they float around, CNET reports. After mounting bubble makers onto the bottom of drones, scientists successfully pollinated a pear orchard, suggesting a possible way to grow crops should we fail to restore bee populations.

Bubble Boys

Previous attempts to automate pollination tend to involve replacing bees with miniature robots that would fly from plan to plant like their biological counterparts. But the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology researchers behind the new study, published Wednesday in the journal iScience, found that soap bubbles were far gentler on the plants, to say nothing of the challenges of actually building mini bee-bots.

China Imposing New Tariffs on US Meat, Fruit, Other Products

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, escalating a spat between the world’s biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel.

The tariffs, to take effect on Monday, were announced late on Sunday by China’s finance ministry and matched a list of potential tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by China on March 23.

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