Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Organized Adult Professional Smelling Bees

An elaboration of [squeak]'s interpretation of [waugsqueke]'s idea
  [vote for,

Bees are known to be very organized. They can communicate to each other where to find nectar through their waggle dance, and they can also follow scents in the air. Therefore, I propose a specific method to train them to sniff out drugs, gas leaks, etc., as well as a way for the bees to communicate to their handlers the location of the scent. Due to the nature of bees, as well explained in the linked annotation, they are certainly organized and professional, and only the adults are capable of doing this job.

Take a hive of bees and put it in the vicinity of the scent you want to train for. First, put the scent and some nectary flowers at the same location near the hive, so that the bees get exposed to the scent, and initially associate it with nectar. When they do their waggle dance, reward them with a sweet smell (though ideally one they won't confuse with any flowers) or some extra nectar* when they dance to indicate the location of the target scent.

Gradually separate the target scent and the flowers, while rewarding them for continuing to communicate the target's location (but make sure they don't stop communicating the flowers' locations too, so they don't starve). Once that's established, start training them to differentiate the target scent from flowers by something in the waggle dance, perhaps by giving off different pheromones (which they might do naturally, come to think of it), or with a variation of the motion.

Once they reliably do that, they're ready. Keep them like you'd keep any other bees—let them forage for nectar in the normal way, etc.—but maybe keep up the training once in a while so they don't forget. When you get a call to search for the source of whatever scent you've trained your bees for, just transport the hive to the area in the normal manner (which I assume involves smoking it, closing it, carrying it, and opening it) and let your bees fly around; they will tell you the location of the source of their trained scent with their dance. Collect payment from client.

*Or, in advance, train them to associate a certain stimulus such as a sound with e.g. a nectar treat, and then use that stimulus as the reward in the scent-finding training.

N/A [2019-06-14]

notexactly, Jun 15 2019

The inspiration for this Organized Adult Pro...ional Spelling Bees
See [squeak]'s anno of 2004-03-08 [notexactly, Jun 15 2019]

Drug-sniffing bees https://en.wikipedi...ymenoptera_training
[MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 15 2019]


       Bees are already used for sniffing drugs (see link) although not quite in the way you've described.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 15 2019

       My daughter works with top-bar beehives. I never thought of using them to organise something. I desperately need somebody or something to organize my desk and workroom. Its a horrible mess.
pashute, Jun 19 2019


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