Bees: they're all dying. Yet wasps and hornets seem to be doing just fine. WTF Mother Nature, your ass is BACKWARDS. Nobody like a front-butt. Thankfully, scientists in Japan have created small drones to act as pollinators since all the real bees seem to be buying the farm. Did something happen to Old MacDonald?!
The system, described in the journal Chem, is nowhere near ready to be sent to agricultural fields, but it could help pave the way to developing automated pollination techniques at a time when bee colonies are suffering precipitous declines.
In flowering plants, sex often involves a threesome [EDITOR'S NOTE: Please continue in great detail]. Flowers looking to get the pollen from their male parts into another bloom's female parts need an envoy to carry it from one to the other. Those third players are animals known as pollinators -- a diverse group of critters that includes bees, butterflies, birds and bats, among others.
Animal pollinators are needed for the reproduction of 90% of flowering plants and one third of human food crops, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Chief among those are bees -- but many bee populations in the United States have been in steep decline in recent decades, likely due to a combination of factors, including agricultural chemicals, invasive species and climate change. Just last month, the rusty patched bumblebee became the first wild bee in the United States to be listed as an endangered species.
Basically these drones (seen above, upside-down) use a combination what what appears to be hair gathered from my shower drain (actually horsehair) and a sticky gel to gather pollen from a male plant, then deposit said pollen into the lady parts of a female plant. Quite simple biology really, I remember learning about that in middle school science class. I also remember yelling 'PLANTS HAVE PENISES!' and repeatedly hitting myself in the head with a textbook until I fell out of my desk. I've always been an entertainer.
Thanks to TittyMcNippleFondler, hands down my favorite secret menu item at McDonald's.