Dutch researchers train bees to detect coronavirus

These bees can detect COVID-19

Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

Dutch researchers have trained bees to detect COVID-19 infected samples

by using their unusually keen sense of smell

Bees indicate a positive coronavirus result

by extending their straw-like tongues to drink sugar-water

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR IN VIROLOGY AND RESEARCH LEADER 'EMERGING AND ZOONOTIC VIRUSES' AT WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY AND RESEARCH, WIM VAN DER POEL, SAYING:"We collect, we take the bees from honey beekeepers here in the region and we use a set of these every day and we put those bees in harnesses to fix them. Then we present coronavirus positive and coronavirus negative samples and after presenting a positive sample we always present sugar water afterwards. So in the end the bees extend their proboscis after being presented a coronavirus positive sample and in that way we can train bees pretty quickly."

Scientists say the method is cheap

and could cut the waiting time for test results to seconds

making it useful for countries where tests are scarce

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