UAV tracking system for pollinators


UK Partners: Dr Paul CROSS (Project Lead) and Dr Cristiano Palego, Bangor University

Chinese Partners: Dr Chaochun Zhang and Prof Fusuo Zhang, China Agriculture University

Project Summary: 

In order to feed the planet’s estimated future population of 2.3 billion people, crop production will need to double. Limited extra space requires China to produce more from less. One approach is to close the pollination gap between the quantity of crops requiring insect pollination and the number of pollinators available to provide the service. This will involve changes in management of inputs (pesticides) and the required configuration of sustainable pollinator habitat at Science Technology Backyard villages in China.

This study proposes to validate the effectiveness of a novel tracking device for insect pollinators across their entire foraging range. Researchers, land managers and farmers in China will locate naturally occurring pollinator communities required for the enhanced pollination of watermelons in Houlaoying village (Quzhou county, Heibei province on the North China Plain), and provide a counterfactual to monitor pollinator communities in subsequent pollinator-enhancing interventions.  This will allow the STB programme to move from ‘double high’ objectives to ‘triple high’: high yield, high efficiency and high quality.