With more people having products shipped right to their doors rather than shopping in stores, logistics companies are looking for clever new ways to optimize delivery routes and cut operating costs. When you take into account all the different locations that a single delivery truck travels between in a single day, this is easier said than done.
Humans might not be so good at finding the most efficient path through a complex series of points, but honey bees excel at this type of problem solving. When bees forage for nectar, they navigate long distances in different directions that take them to various meadows and flowerbeds around their hive. To make the most of their efforts, bees have developed a keen sense for finding the quickest routes between flowers. They’re also able to quickly evaluate the quality of food sources in the area and prioritize them accordingly.
Now, a Vancouver-based startup called Routific has developed an algorithm based on observations of honey bee behavior that’s designed to help drivers find the most efficient possible routes between deliveries. The company estimates that their product can save businesses up to 40 percent on time and fuel.
“We’re leveraging the age-old wisdom of honey bees in order to help delivery businesses work smarter and more efficiently,” said Routific founder and CEO Marc Kuo in a press release. “Bees are some of the hardest working creatures on the planet, and they’re amazing team players. I can’t think of a better inspiration for our team at Routific.”
To express their gratitude for the inspiration the bees provided for their business, Routific is partnering with Hives for Humanity to raise awareness about endangered pollinator populations for World Honey Bee Day on August 20, 2016. When you consider all that honey bees have done for us – from pollinating our crops to making delicious, nutritious honey – it’s always nice to see people making an effort to give back to these remarkable little creatures.