Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bee All You Can Bee

Producing honey and pollinating our fruits and veggies didn't quite cut it.

From Wired...
A team of Croatian researchers are training honeybees to sniff out unexploded mines that still pepper the Balkans. 
Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and other countries from former Yugoslavia still have around 250,000 buried mines which were left there during the wars of the early 90s. Since the end of the war more than 300 people have been killed in Croatia alone by the explosives, including 66 de-miners. 
Tracking down the mines can be extremely costly and dangerous. However, by training bees -- which are able to detect odours from 4.5 kilometres away -- to associate the smell of TNT with sugar can create an affective way of identifying the locations of mines. Bees have the advantage of being extremely small and so don't run the risk of setting off the explosives in the same way that trained mammals such as dogs or rats do.

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