Is it me, or is it April Fool’s Day somewhere in the world?

by Lee Hopkins on November 29, 2006 · 2 comments

in miscellaneous

BumbleBee Man from The SimpsonsCall 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…



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  • http://allanjenkins.typepad.com Allan Jenkins

    Yes, but it’s true. I have seen any number of articles on this in the last six months. A wasp or bee, being essentially single minded, can be “taught” in seconds, whereas a dog is, well, a dog.

    It’s a great idea, but the high-school dropouts who handle airport security in the US will surely protest. If the bee replaces the dog, whom will the dog replace?

  • http://allanjenkins.typepad.com/ Allan Jenkins

    Yes, but it’s true. I have seen any number of articles on this in the last six months. A wasp or bee, being essentially single minded, can be “taught” in seconds, whereas a dog is, well, a dog.

    It’s a great idea, but the high-school dropouts who handle airport security in the US will surely protest. If the bee replaces the dog, whom will the dog replace?

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