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Croatia's uses honey bees to detect dangerous land mines
11.06.2013

Detecting dangerous and undetonated land mines has been delegated in croatia to an unsurmisable agent- the honey bee. An estimated 90,000 land mines were planted from 1991 to 1995 during the Balkan Wars that tore the former Yugoslavia apart. In the two decades since, undetonated mines have claimed 316 lives, including 66 de-miners, reports the Associated Press.

Enter Nikola Kezic, a professor and honey bee expert at Zagreb University. He has created an experiment that tricks bees into associating the smell of food with the smell of TNT. Imagine you're a de-miner: Instead of setting foot in a potentially dangerous mine field to sift through dirt manually, you would first unleash a swarm of insects that would gather over latent explosives without setting them off.

According to NatureWorldNews, Kezic used "classic Pavlovian conditioning" to train the bees into becoming unsuspecting bomb squads, mixing a sugar solution with TNT powder:

Once enough bees are trained to seek the scent of TNT, swarms of them will be released into already de-mined fields, where there is still a real risk of accidentally tripping an unaccounted for land mine. Researchers can use heat-seeking cameras to track the trained bees, which will gather around any undetected mines.

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