Honeybees are getting sweeter: Even nearly two decades after the end of the Balkan wars, Croatia faces a horrible challenge of unexploded and unmarked landmines. Furthering earlier research, Croatian scientists are training honeybees to sniff out unexploded landmines. Since the end of the war, 316 people, including 66 de-miners, have been killed by landmines in Croatia.
Across the world, landmines are sought using mine-sniffing dogs and rats, but their weight can sometimes trigger the mine. Now researchers in Croatia are training honeybees to fly to landmines and identify their locations by associating the smell of TNT from landmines with their food. Initial trials show the trained bees preferring the TNT-scented food to their unadulterated food.
American researchers have also investigated honeybee bomb sniffers, but eliminated TNT as their food tag because its smell disappears too quickly. To read more about the Croatian research, go to Honeybees trained in Croatia to find land mines.