Call me ‘thick’, but I am finding it hard to imagine how bomb-sniffing bees could be of much value.
Consider this. The ABC report says:
The scientists used Pavlovian techniques on the bees’ natural response to nectar, a sticking out of their tongue, or proboscis extension reflex. By rewarding them with sugar water, the scientists taught bees to give the same reflex action when they were exposed to vapours from explosives such as dynamite, C4 plastic and TATP (triacetone triperoxide), often used by suicide bombers.
Call me ‘thick’, indeed, but how can you tell if a bee is sticking out its tongue unless you are really, really up close and personal? The poor bugger peering closely to see if Mr Bee is sticking his tongue out is likely to have his head blown off.
There’s an mp3 file if you are interested enough to hear more…