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."
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Source: Business Week
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