Do we need Artificial Pollination if we have Multispecies Justice in the Anthropocene?




Multispecies justice, insect pollinators, pollinator crisis, artificial pollination, industrialised agriculture, technology


The era we now live in is termed the Anthropocene. Climate change, land use change, pesticide and insecticide use, and pollution are all contributing to pollinator loss. To ensure food crops continue to be pollinated, artificial pollinator technologies are being developed. This article asks the question: do we need artificial pollination if we have multispecies justice in the Anthropocene? Three examples of artificial pollination technologies, Edete, Olombria, and RoboBee, are provided to help address this question. However, the companies designing and developing artificial pollination technologies do not aim to address the underlying problems of pollinator decline such as habitat loss and climate change. Addressing problems such as pollinator loss with the use of digital technology puts humanity onto the course of uncertain futures. For more just futures, there are calls for a turn towards multispecies justice. Considering pollinator loss through the lens of multispecies justice puts us on an altogether different course from that of using artificial pollination. With multispecies justice there is the potential for futures which are democratic, just, diverse, and sustainable for humans and the more-than-human world.


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A robotic bee meets an organic bee