Insect pollinators provide a vital ecosystem service for crop pollination in wild plants, and over 75% of crops worldwide benefit from insect pollination through increased yields at harvest. The number of wild pollinators, especially bees is steadily declining globally due to industrial agriculture, pathogens, loss of biodiversity, use of pesticides and climate change. This documented decline poses a significant risk to the production of many crops and threatens food security.
Olombria encourages flies to be more efficient pollinators, in scenarios where bees are no longer as viable. Flies are already adept pollinators, being the main pollinators in urban environments, and in total, accounting for over 30% of all pollination.
Olombria provides horticultural growers with information on pollinators and environmental conditions and uses chemical volatiles to manage pollinating fly species, thereby increasing crop productivity, and ensuring sustainable food harvests for the future.
Olombria originated from the RCA’s entry to the 2017 Biodesign Challenge and is led by Royal College of Art graduates Tashia Tucker, Louis Alderson-Bythell, and Greg Orrom Swan