Analysis of the possibility of utalization of honey bees in explosive detection

  • Slavica Ćosović Bajić
Ključne riječi: pčele, detekcija eksploziva, nagazne mine, obuka pčela, otkrivanje eksploziva i mina


The fact that honey bees can detect explosive is widely known since late ’90, particularly when US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) solicited in 1999 proposals on Controlled Biological and Biomimetic Systems. The honey of honey bees was known and approved in Croatia in 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, as the sensitive indicator of the nuclear pollution (after Chernobyl). The application of the honey bees for the detection of the explosive and the land mines was treated in several scientific research and development projects. There are two main aspects of the application of the honey bees: biological and technical. The biological aspects are among others, the conditioning, training of honey bees, and assessment of their sensitivity for the various explosives and methods of their application and will not be considered. In this paper we consider technical aspects regarding the application of the honey bees for explosive and landmine detection, particularly methods, techniques and technologies of gathering data and information from honey bees smelling the explosive. For the detection of the honey bees over explosive samples were used several methods and techniques: locating the honey bees by lidar, locating the honey bee caring the microwave dipole and detecting the third harmonic of the radar waves, detecting honey bees by spectral features. This technique is very complicated and alternative approach was researched and approved in Croatia for assessment of the bees’ distribution over wide area: detecting the honey bees from air by electro optical sensors, using long wave thermal camera and digital image processing. Third direction of research and development is aimed for the handheld sensor for detection of the explosive and one system is available (VASOR136).