‘Promis­ing’ trial creat­ing a great buzz

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

The types of mines the bees are be­ing trained to de­tect are Yu­gosla­vian PMA-2 and PMA-3 mines, and some Rus­sian/ Soviet mines.

Honey­bees have a big­ger ad­van­tage over snif­fer dogs when it comes to find­ing ex­plo­sives as dogs only work for 15 min­utes at a time. Dogs, which are more ex­pen­sive to train, see it as a “game” and quickly get bored.

Bees will work tire­lessly and are not af­fected by the chem­i­cal com­pounds found in ex­plo­sives, un­like dogs. They can get to ar­eas that are more dif­fi­cult to get to than dogs.

The bees do have draw­backs, how­ever. Rain and dark­ness will nor­mally de­ter the bees from go­ing out on their life­sav­ing mis­sions.

Pre­cise de­tails of the tests are be­ing kept un­der wraps for now but Dr Gil­lan­der said the use of bees looked “promis­ing”.

The aca­demic re­vealed there had so far been just one ca­su­alty from the test­ing – PHD stu­dent James Glackin, who was strung three times while driv­ing 6,000 bees to the test site.

There are an es­ti­mated 110 mil­lion land mines lost across the world which kill or in­jure be­tween 15,000 to 20,000 peo­ple an­nu­ally.

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