Sniffer honey bees trained to detect bombs
The company needed a mobile plug-in that allowed the device to be moved around the airport easily and translate the bees’ actions into a user friendly picture of what chemicals had been detected. The information detected could then easily be sent to the relevant departments.
We were tasked to build a mobile front-end to a product that harnessed honey bees to detect drugs and explosives, using similar techniques used by Pavlov and dogs many years ago. A handheld device (that holds honey bees) that could detect very small quantities of particles in the air was built by scientists at Rothamstead Institute to be used at airports around the world (some airports currently keep commercial hives for this purpose).
After a research and development project partially funded by the Home Office, the company has also demonstrated the new device to commercial companies in the US, and is seeking investment partners to take forward the final development of the technology.