The Pentagon is all a-buzz about recruiting networked bees to sniff out bombs.
The US government is hoping to use the wired up insects to sniff out minute residues of explosives and lead them to bomb factories and landmines.
Each bee will carry a tiny wireless transmitter which can be tracked using a wireless connection to an army laptop computer. The bees are trained to think that TNT contains sugar so that they make a beeline for it.
Pentagon researcher Dr Alan Rudolph said that a trained hive could be put near security checkpoints to raise the alarm should a bomber try to cross.
He explained that bees were better than dogs at detecting some odours, and that their behaviour can be conditioned by rewards such as sugar-water.
By combining the scent of the sugar solution with tiny residues of TNT, scientists can train the bees to associate the "molecular trail" of TNT with food.
Pentagon researchers claim that they have already succeeded in getting bees to ignore flowers and swarm around explosives.
But bees are a little lazy: they don't do night shifts, they refuse to work in the cold, and they hate stormy weather.
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