Scientists teach bees to sniff out bombs

Sniffer Bees

Sniffer Bees

Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico said they trained honeybees to stick out their proboscis – the tube they use to feed on nectar – when they smell explosives in anything from cars and roadside bombs to belts similar to those used by suicide bombers.

By exposing the insects to the odour of explosives followed by a sugar water reward, researchers said they trained bees to recognise substances ranging from dynamite and C-4 plastic explosives to the Howitzer propellant grains used in improvised explosive devices in Iraq.

The findings followed 18 months of research at the US Energy Department’s Los Alamos facility, the nation’s leading nuclear weapons laboratory.

External Links:
Bees to ‘sniff out’ explosives (BBC)

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