Pollination is one of the most important natural biological processes on our planet. Although 70% of fruit crops are dependent on insect pollination the process is still poorly understood, with pollinators declining globally at a rate of 35% a year, due to challenging factors threatening biodiversity.
AgriSound, a York-based start-up, received funding from Innovate UK to help develop a new low-cost sensor device that can map pollinator abundance. The wild pollinator monitoring device nicknamed ‘POLY’, is an expansion from the original line of in-hive sensor equipment established for kept bees and aims to capture a more holistic view of biodiversity loss and pollination levels at local, regional and national levels.
POLY is cleverly designed to mimic a flower and uses sensor technology to count and record insect visitations. Data is transmitted via 3/4G connectivity and accessed via a secure data storage platform.
Pollination activity data is presented via a simple to use user interface, highlighting areas of low pollinator activity and suggesting simple interventions to increase numbers.
POLY has the ability to transform the way we manage and design garden areas and is a truly ground-breaking concept to battle the effects of climate change, intensive agriculture and severe decline in bees over the years.