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Honeybees trained to hunt mines in Croatia


Posted on Wednesday, 22 May, 2013 | Comment icon 9 comments


Image credit: sxc.hu


 
Croatian researchers have been training honeybees to hunt down the location of unexploded landmines.

More than 750 square kilometers of uncleared minefields are still thought to lie within Croatia's borders, a relic of the Balkan wars. To tackle this problem, professor Nikola Kezic of Zagreb University has come up with a novel way to find them by training bees to use their strong sense of smell to locate the explosives buried in the ground.

The training method involves placing a mixture of sugar and TNT at various feeding points so that the bees learn to associate the smell of the explosive with the food. "Our basic conclusion is that the bees can clearly detect this target, and we are very satisfied," said Kezic. If the technique works then the bees could save many lives by locating unexploded devices which can then be safely disarmed.

"Mirjana Filipovic is still haunted by the land mine blast that killed her boyfriend and blew off her left leg while on a fishing trip nearly a decade ago."

  View: Full article |  Source: Business Week

  Discuss: View comments (9)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by BorisIWantToKnow on 22 May, 2013, 12:58
Incredible, i mean i haven't heard of this and I'm from Croatia... It is indeed a problem, for all people, from hikers to regular folks living in the "outback" This bee thing sounds interesting enough
Comment icon #2 Posted by the L on 22 May, 2013, 20:34
Boris its old news in our country, you probably missed it. Last year it was on national TV. Recently I even open thread on UM. I hope bees become useful... As they didnt. But you see where Im going.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin on 22 May, 2013, 21:46
Huh, I realise the "training", associating food with TNT. but I guess I didn't know bees had such a keen sense of smell. I thought that they were primarily attracted by the color(like yellow or pink),or even ultraviolet reflected light from plant petals. I learn something new every day.
Comment icon #4 Posted by BorisIWantToKnow on 23 May, 2013, 19:29
Guess i'm terribly uninformed hah
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 23 May, 2013, 19:49
I'm sure my next question is either for a new topic, or, a continuation of a topic already posted. But, it seems to me(from what I've read elsewhere) that bees are vital to the propagation of plants and hence, in some way, our own human life. I know that we all hate bee stings, yet bees seem so potentially vital to human survival in the long run. Having heard that there are diseases and such which are reducing bee population, any suggestions? Or a pointing to a relative sub-forum here?
Comment icon #6 Posted by the L on 24 May, 2013, 4:20
once I started a thread / poll about it. http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=229267 its easy to skip among 1000 news every day.
Comment icon #7 Posted by chopmo on 24 May, 2013, 4:50
SO THAT'S WHERE ALL THE ****ING BEE'S HAVE GONE YA SNEAKY MUNGRELS :P ___________________________________________________________ We have a unexplainable global bee shortage and you fools are trying to blow them up with landmines. __________________________________________________________ Ok I'm done :P But really? who exactly was going out of their way to use bees for landmines. Why not thermal imagery wouldn't that be better to detect?
Comment icon #8 Posted by the L on 24 May, 2013, 6:59
I think that they have difficulties with some types of mine.
Comment icon #9 Posted by -M7 on 9 July, 2013, 5:00
WHAT THE F?!?
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