Bee All that You Can Bee
Honeybees trained to sniff out landmines? It's true:
A team of Croatian researchers are training honeybees to sniff out unexploded mines that still pepper the Balkans.
Nikola Kezic, a professor in the Department of Agriculture at Zagreb University, has been exploring using bees to find landmines since 2007. Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and other countries from former Yugoslavia still have around 250,000 buried mines which were left there during the wars of the early 90s. Since the end of the war more than 300 people have been killed in Croatia alone by the explosives, including 66 de-miners.
Tracking down the mines can be extremely costly and dangerous. However, by training bees -- which are able to detect odours from 4.5 kilometres away -- to associate the smell of TNT with sugar can create an affective way of identifying the locations of mines.
I can't tell if that's cooler than it is creepy or creepier than it is cool. And of course this is going on in Croatia, because you know the EPA would shut that program down faster than you can say, "Did you hear a click?"
H/T, Doug Mataconis.