Engineers at the Rochester Institute of Technology say it's possible. They've already found uses for drones in the agricultural world, using them to help farmers tend to specific plants without having to treat an entire field.
"We can literally look at the plant level and tell if a plant is thirsty, if a plant needs nutrients or if a plant is sick,” said Jan Van Aardt, Imaging Science Professor at RIT.
Engineers also say developing and using pollinating drones is still a ways off.
"These types of drone systems we're talking about, like the ones here, are very large in size, so for that bee application obviously you'd want it to be much, much smaller,” says RIT Mechanical Engineering Professor Agamemnon Crassidis. "Possibly within five to ten years, I can see that happening but as of today, we're not quite there.”
However, beekeepers like Graham see these drones just as a temporary solution.
“One, yes this is a stopgap to get us past this problem but two, let's focus on the underlying problem and try to mitigate that impact.” Said Graham.