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Scientists say trained bees can sniff bombs

BeeOther than collecting nectar from flowers and processing them into honey, what else is a bee capable of? Well, according to scientists at a U.S. weapons laboratory, they are able to sniff out explosives too.

Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico said they trained honeybees to stick out their proboscis -- the tube they use to feed on nectar -- when they smell explosives in anything from cars and roadside bombs to belts similar to those used by suicide bombers.

By exposing the insects to the odor of explosives followed by a sugar water reward, researchers said they trained bees to recognize substances ranging from dynamite and C-4 plastic explosives to the Howitzer propellant grains used in improvised explosive devices in Iraq.

"When bees detect the presence of explosives, they simply stick their proboscis out," research scientist Tim Haarmann told Reuters in a telephone interview. "You don't have to be an expert in animal behavior to understand it as there is no ambiguity."

Link: Yahoo News
Image: Wikipedia
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