Sniffer honeybee detector

Sniffer honeybee detector

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Credit: LOUISE MURRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sniffer honeybee detector. Honeybee (Apis melifera) head protruding from a cartridge that forms part of a chemical vapour detection device. This live honeybee has been trained to detect odours such as those from explosives, drugs, food and diseases through the breath or fluids of humans. The bee is trained to associate a certain smell with a sugarwater reward. Several bees are housed within tiny cartridges which includes a heater to keep the bees warm. When the trained bees detect a target odour they stick out their tongues (probiscises). This alerts an optical sensor. Bees are only used for a few hours at a time and are returned to their hive safely after use. Photographed in 2010 at Inscentinel Ltd, UK.

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Keywords: animal, apis melifera, apis mellifera, bee, biological, biology, biotechnology, chemical, chemical weapon, counterterrorist, detection, detector, disease, disease detection, drugs detection, dry rot, england, europe, european, explosive detector, fauna, honey bees, honeybee, inscentinel, insect, nature, odour, olfactory, sense smell, sensor, sniffer, system, technological, technology, tnt, trained, tuberculosis, uk, united kingdom, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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