Dutch researchers have trained a group of bees, who have a strong sense of smell, to detect samples infected with the Coronavirus, in a discovery that they say will reduce waiting times for test results to only seconds.
To train bees, the researchers, at the Veterinary Research Laboratory at the University of Wageningen, gave sugar-sweetened water as a reward after displaying samples of breathing air contaminated with Covid-19 on them.
In a statement, Wim van der Boel, a professor of virology, who participated in the study, said that after getting used to the system, the bee extends its tongue spontaneously to obtain the reward when it presents infected samples to it.
The researchers said that getting the bees out of their tongues to drink is to confirm that the sample is infected with the virus. It takes hours and maybe up to days to get the result of the Coronavirus examination, but the bees present the result immediately, and the new method is also cheap, which makes it useful for countries where the tests are less.