Bees to detect landmines

Tuesday 15 June 1999

Scientists are using the ability of bees to pick traces of dust and airborne particles to detect landmines. "Bees are like flying dust mops. Wherever they go, they pick up dust, airborne chemicals and other samples on their fuzzy, statically charged bodies," says J Bromenshenik, bee expert at the University of Montana, USA. The researchers are training bees to sniff out TNT chemicals by teaching them to link the smell of explosives with the smell of sugary substances. Researchers at the Natural resources Institute of Greenwich in Malvern, UK, have developed tiny antennae to attach to bees so that they can be tracked by radar.

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