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Fivej, we used to have one here in Vermont. Max the wonder dog. German Shepard. Failed as a drug dog, so the State Police trained him for AFB. Rick Drutchas was the inspector, and Max lived with him. Very effective. Once Jadczac came over from Maine to see what Max could do. Rick lined up some empty hives...one with an AFB comb. Easy test, right? Well Jadczac...unknown to Drutchas...touched every hive cover with a bit of AFB comb he had hidden. Of course, poor Max didn't know wtf. Alerted on every hive. Rick figured it out, eventually. Everyone had a hearty laugh. Good times back then.
 

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A while back I read an interesting article (similar links below) about how honey-bees were being trained as drug- and explosive-sniffers - apparently they were assessed as having a sensitivity equal to or higher than dogs. They were conditioned to extend their tongues to receive a tiny drop of sugar syrup whenever they encountered airborn molecules of the target substance.

I can't see any reason why bees couldn't also be trained to detect foul brood, or any other disease which has a smell associated with it.
LJ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T7d0bze4kM
https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1608/MR1608.apps.pdf

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/406961/using-bees-to-detect-bombs/
https://www.livescience.com/4605-bees-trained-bomb-sniffers.html
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/wo...e/news-story/f047130e0c2e93d138232bea50f5ee61
 

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We got a few of them over here for sniffing AFB, the operators normally charge around NZ$200 (US$132.00) an hour to check your outfit. Dog can get a lot done in an hour.

Sounds profitable but there is a lot of training and ongoing maintenance training and motivation time put in to the dog also.

An owner told me the worst thing that happens is when no AFB has been found for a while, the dog performs best when it's detecting enough to keep it interested in the job.
 

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Over here they only do it after dark to avoid that. BTW Michael that AFB problem I had when you were over here is no more, been free for around 3 years now. :)
 

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Fortunately I haven't experienced any AFB in nigh on two decades but the smell is still something that I will neither forget nor need a dog to diagnose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting. I would have liked to see Max the wonder dog working. Probably a good thing he wasn't very good at detecting drugs. Beekeepers got to be high on something. J
 
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