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Drug “Sniffing” Bees Could Make Airport Security Dogs Obsolete

Trained honeybees may become the new face of law enforcement, as drug policy evolves beyond what canines can handle.

image via (cc) flickr user dni777

Scientists are abuzz with excitement after new research suggests dogs may not necessarily be the most effective animal drug detectors when it comes to sniffing out illicit hidden contraband. Dogs, it turns out, have a hard time adjusting to the shifting sands of drug legislation, in which things things like marijuana can suddenly become legal some places, while remaining illegal in others. The training involved in creating an effective drug-sniffing dog is time-intensive, expensive, and hard to un-learn, should the pooch need to pivot in response to evolving drug legislation. What’s more, as drug dogs operate in an inherently binary system with their human partners, there’s a risk for false-positive detection as the dog could be more influenced by its handler’s expectations than olfactory input.

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