New research suggests that specially trained honeybees could soon replace canines as a form of airport security. The study was conducted as a partnership between researchers at the University in Giessen and the German State Office of Criminal Investigation. Their joint findings ultimately suggest that the Western honeybee could eventually replace drug-sniffing dogs.
In the study, the researchers used an electroantennographic device to measure the sensory perception of Western honeybees. They found that these honeybees had a unique ability to sense samples of cocaine and heroin. The researchers then worked to train the honeybees to show a reliable behavioral response in the presence of these particular drugs. The study demonstrated that the trained honeybees could complement or even replace the drug-sniffing dogs currently being used in airports.
While these specially trained bees are not being used in airports yet, it is possible that they could be used as a form of airport security in the near future.