There was another story on this topic by the AP today, carried in a number of newspapers. Here is a snippit and a link to the full story:
SANTA FE, N.M. â€” Here's the latest buzz on detecting explosives: bomb-sniffing bees.http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,650213838,00.html
A study at Los Alamos National Laboratory has found that honeybees can be trained to detect explosives, even in tiny quantities.
"These bees really perform," said bee biologist Timothy Haarmann, the study's leader.
Whether honeybees will ever be enlisted in the war on terror looks doubtful at this point.
In thousands of trials conducted over the past 18 months at the nuclear weapons lab, bees stuck out their tongues when they smelled explosives. The bees even underwent field trials, successfully sniffing out explosives in a simulated roadside bomb, in a vehicle, and on a person rigged like a suicide bomber.
The insects have a phenomenal sense of smell, rivaling that of dogs, Haarmann said.
"The beauty of the bee is that when it has a sugar water reward, it sticks out its proboscis," the scientist said. "It's not a little tiny tongue. It's bigger than the antennae."