Dutch researchers have trained swarms of bees to detect coronavirus and it's actually pretty dang cool
· · May 13, 2021 · NottheBee.com

A few months ago, NASCAR announced it was working with dogs that had been trained to smell COVID-19 in our blood.

Not wanting to be left out, the Dutch decided to train bees to do the same because why not?

"To train the bees, scientists in the bio-veterinary research laboratory at Wageningen University gave them sugary water as a reward after showing them samples infected with COVID-19," said Reuters. "They would get no reward after being shown a non-infected sample.

Having got used to the system, the bees were able to spontaneously extend their tongues to receive a reward when presented with an infected sample."

Because bees have a ridiculously keen sense of smell, they can detect the 'Rona in seconds, beating out even our most advanced tests.

They're not even some genetically modified superbee, just normal, run-of-the-mill honeybees from your backyard.

"We collect normal honeybees from a beekeeper and we put the bees in harnesses," said Wim van der Poel, a professor of virology. "Right after presenting a positive sample we also present them with sugar water. And what the bees do is they extend their proboscis to take the sugar water."

This reward process trains the bees to detect COVID-19, which could be an effective alternative in areas where it's not easy to get official tests.

As cool as this is, I could also see about a hundred different ways such programs could go wrong...


There are 45 comments on this article.

Ready to join the conversation? Start your free trial today.

Access comments and our fully-featured social platform, completely free of charge.

Sign up Now
App screenshot

You must signup or login to view or post comments on this article.