Better Bomb Blocking By Bees
from the bzzzz dept
There have been all sorts of tricks tried lately to better keep bombs off of planes -- with some (putting your toothpaste in a plastic bag) more idiotic than others. However, it appears that some entomologists are pushing the idea that, rather than bomb-sniffing dogs, we should train honeybees to sniff out the dangers instead. Unfortunately, it appears the early efforts still need a lot of work as the bee watchers say not all bees seem to take to the training well. However, some clearly do, and can be trained to signal when they've made a match. As for how this would work in practice, rather than freeing bees to fly around the airport (wouldn't that be fun?), they put them in a box and then use pattern matching software watching the bees to alert security if a significant number of the bees all start doing the "we smell a bomb" dance. The article also notes that a similar process could be used to detect landmines, in which case they actually would release the bees in potential landmine areas, and then watch where they congregate.