We already have a lot ofВ reasons why we should thank toВ bees, but this one is maybe the biggest! (1)
Honey bees has a superior sense of smell, even more sensitive than that of a dog. With this strong senseВ they are ableВ to detect specific chemical odors. (2)
It wasВ shown that honey bees have potential to detect an early stage of cancer and other serious diseases.
Susana Soares has madeВ a device that can utilize trained bees to detect lung, skin, and pancreatic cancer, as well as tuberculosis.
First, sheВ trained the bees by using Pavolv’s reflexВ to associate a specific chemical odor with a food reward. Then the beesВ are released into the diagnostic device through an opening.В Patients simply exhales into itВ and wait to see if a swarm gathers toward something alarming in the person’s breath.
“Trained bees only rush into the smaller chamber if they can detect the odour on the patient’s breath that they have been trained to target,” explainedВ Soares, whoВ presented her Bee’sВ projectВ atВ Dutch Design WeekВ in Eindhoven. (3)
Once trained, the bees will remember the odour for their entire lives, provided they are always rewarded with sugar. Bees live for six weeks on average.
“There’s plenty of interest in the project especially from charities and further applications as a cost effective early detection of illness, specifically in developing countries,” Soares said.