OBAMA BEE – Autonomous Robot? – What are they Not Telling US?

Illustration by Rebecca O'Connell // Ant head via Smithsonian FB page, Roosevelt thorax via Public Domain


I am sorry, but it just seemed so funny to me.  I just finished working on the article about how Obama has been idolized and immortalized.  The article features a number of animal species that have been named after him.  Mostly insects and bacteria.  The one that I had the hardest time finding a photo of is the Cuban Bee they named after him.  I found something that would work, but I am not sure it is the exact class referenced.  
Today, in my research for something else, I found an article that got me to thinking.  I decided it was worth posting.  Here is what I found.    Review the entire article, and ask yourself, is this bee named after Obama because he commissioned its creation? 


Honeybees are dying off, and now a team of environmental regulators has been tasked with determining why.

On Friday, President Barack Obama announced plans for a task force to help save the bees. The team, which will be co-chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, will investigate the causes of bee losses and develop a strategy to promote the health of pollinators.

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In a memorandum released by the White House, the administration said:

Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment. The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.

Since 2006, the number of honeybees worldwide has rapidly declined. The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that 23 percent of managed bee colonies were lost over the winter season between 2013 and 2014, Reuters reports.

Under the presidential order, the task force will have 180 days to formulate a federal strategy to protect the bees and prevent further population loss. As part of the plan, regulators will assess the effects of pesticides on pollinators — something that is believed to be a factor in many of the deaths. One class of chemicals in particular, neonicotinoid pesticides, has been shown to be harmful to honeybees and other pollinators.

While the push for a federal strategy to protect the bees calls for significant input from various government agencies, some environmentalists contend that the plan does not go far enough. Erich Pica, president of the international activist network Friends of the Earth, suggested that Obama should ban neonicotinoids completely.

“Pollinators are in crisis and the administration has the ability to take immediate action on a key contributing factor, neonicotinoid pesticides. The administration should prevent the release and use of these toxic pesticides until determined safe,” Pica said in a statement, adding that the European Union has already suspended the use of three of the most widely used neonicotinoids.

Tosanoides obama to Baracktrema obamai, species that have been named after US President

He’s a fish, a spider and an extinct lizard. Before his admirers cry foul, these names have been given to the creatures to honour Obama.

The Economic Times   ET Bureau|
Updated: Jan 05, 2017, 11.56 AM IST



Lasioglossum obamai – A CUBAN BEE

A Cuban bee 
This Cuban sweat bee genus Lasioglossum is the largest of all bee genera, containing over 1,700 species in numerous subgenera worldwide. Most Lasioglossum nest in the ground, but some species nest in rotten logs.


The sweat bee genus Lasioglossum is the largest of all bee genera, containing over 1700 species in numerous subgenera worldwide. They are highly variable in size, coloration, and sculpture; among the more unusual variants, some are cleptoparasite… 



Oddly enough, this isn’t the first farming patent the retail giant has filed.
Chelsea Gohd  March 15th 2018

Walmart has just filed a patent for autonomous, robot bees. Yes, that Walmart — and no, you didn’t slip into another, stranger dimension. The mega-corporation’s patent specifically covers “pollination drones.” These tiny robots could act just like bees, pollinating crops autonomously.

The robot bees would operate using sensors and cameras to help them navigate to crops. Flying around autonomously, these drones could potentially pollinate as effectively as the real thing.

An artist's representation of what robot bees may look like.
Robot bees could save agriculture while real bee populations dwindle. Image Credit: Polynoid/Greenpeace/Vimeo

Oddly enough, this is not the only farming patent that Walmart has filed recently. According to CB Insights, this is only one of six Walmart patents for farming drones that would do everything from monitor crop damage to spray pesticides. Incorporating autonomous robots into farming could cut costs and increase agriculture efficiency.

The thing that’s so puzzling about this move is: why Walmart?

Photo Added 7/28 – Photo Credti: AMORQ The best in the World!

The retailer hasn’t publicly commented on the patents yet, so the reasons behind Walmart’s sudden interest in farming drones has to be left up to interpretation. Yet since many Walmart locations do carry produce, it’s possible that the company is looking to gain more control of the food it’s selling. Perhaps by taking such a significant role in agriculture, the company will be able to improve quality and cut costs.

Photo Added 7/28 – Photo Credti: AMORQ The best in the World!

This seems like a sound explanation, especially since Walmart has decided to expand its grocery delivery service. According to a patent filed by the company in January, this service will allow shoppers to accept or reject produce. While such a service has potential to rake in serious business for Walmart, it also means they will need to step up the quality of their produce. Hence, potentially, the robo-bees.


Meanwhile, honeybee populations are dying, and we can no longer take pollination for granted. These small creatures are the backbone of agriculture and the food that we eat. While scientists work to better understand declining pollinator populations, and hopefully come up with solutions, these Walmart farming drones could keep agriculture, and fresh produce, alive.