Thursday, 18. December 2014 - 08:12
26. 04. 13. - 21:00
Scientists in Croatia have unveiled specially-bred colonies of bees that can detect buried landmines from more than three miles away. The bees are trained by being fed an irresistible sugar solution mixed with the smell of explosives. "Eventually they come to associate the smell of any explosives with easy food and will literally make a bee line for them," said Professor Mateja Janes, who trained the bees. Croatia is still riddled with unexploded landmines from the violent independence struggles in the Balkans during the 1990s. "We have been refining their abilities for many years and they are faster and safer than sniffer dogs. "Another advantage is that when they're not working they make delicious honey too," added the professor. The results of the bees training was revealed this week by Scientist Mateja Janes near the southern town of Skradin, Croatia. Researchers from the Agronomy Faculty at Zagreb University in Croatian capital have spent years developing the project. "We have heard that Americans were trying to develop something similar in a secret project, but seems we've developed it before them", professor Mateja Janes said. "Bees can smell flowers from a distance of 4.5 kilometres. Therefore they can smell the explosives at the same distance. They are better at it than dogs", he added. "We hope to prove the real quality of this project", she added. "We think this has a lot of potential." "We hope this is a concept which can be developed and we hope it is something we can export to other countries and become indispensable de-mining tools." "It took just one year working on the project to be able to teach the bees to detect the explosives. "To train the bees we lace the explosives with a sugary solution. It does not take them long to learn. In a months time Mateja Janes and her team are preparing to us the bees as in real de-mining action near the southern town of Benkovac that used to be at the front line of clashes in the War for Independence from 1991 to 1995.
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