Michael Malone, via Facebook asked:
I've heard about honey bees sniffing out explosives, any updated information on this method?
Graham - As well as dogs, you can use other animals to find explosives and bees are one of those. Bees use several different cues to find food including the smell of sources of food, so you can train them to associate the source of food with the smell of TNT. Then, if you grab hold of a trained bee and pass TNT vapour across it, it sticks its tongue out. So this is an interesting new way of using animals in order to detect TNT and there's a UK company called Insentinel that are developing this biotechnology.
I must apologise most profusely for this, the temptation is too great for me to resist.
I could imagine the TSA using a swarm of bees at the screening gates... the buzz might be somewhat foreboding to customers. A computer sensor should be able to catch and analyse images of the bees mouths and tongue. Does one actually have to walk through the swarm?
i could see this being used in some kind of sting operation.... acecharly, Sat, 7th Jul 2012