Sniffer Bees: They Work Hard For The Honey

Harnessing the industrious senses of the honeybee, Inscentinel Ltd. continues to further develop its mutually beneficial relationship with the tiny creatures. Currently working on an automated loading system, the UK-based biotechnology company specialises in channeling the bees' olfactory senses for trace vapour detection.

This system, known to those awesome Inscentinel boffins as VASOR, or Volatile Analysis by Specific Olfactory Recognition, will be capable of translating the responses of highly trained bees into an electronic result. These incredible creatures, used to sniff out micro-traces of anything from drugs to disease, work to the classic formula of Pavlovian conditioning, sticking out their tongue when a relevant aroma becomes apparent and duly being rewarded with a tasty treat.

But fear not, for these insects are not slaving away in abject misery, but dutifuly cared for by both the scientists and a professional beekeeper who ensure bee welfare is high on the agenda. Knowing healthy, happy bees work the best, they guarantee that following their single shift, the bees are re-integrated into the hive where they do natural bee stuff for the rest of their natural lives.

Source: Technovelgy via CrunchGear

(Image credit: Louise Murray, Rex Features see more at