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Volume 9, Issue 1                                    University of Houston

Bees: the weapon of the future


by REID MIDGETT

    The police of the future will have no need for guns. They will have no need for expensive firepower to protect the innocent populace from the evildoers of the world. No, police of the future will have far superior weaponry. They will carry boxes containing technology so advanced that no terrorist will be safe.

    These boxes will contain bees.

    Scientists in a U.S. weapons laboratory have begun training bees for special covert operations, namely sniffing out various types of bombs. They expose the bees to various odors, such as C4 and dynamite. Researchers reward the bees with a sugar-water treat. The bees then learn to follow these scents in order to reach the sugary sweet water they expect to receive.  When the bees find the explosives, they stick out the tubes they use to feed on nectar, signaling the discovery of a bomb.

    Government officials plan to place these trained bees into small boxes that security guards will hold in airports and other high-security locations. The security guards will observe the actions of the bees as they sniff out bombs at airport security checks, roadblocks and other areas.

    One will not have to worry the next time one decides to take to the air because a security guard holding a shoebox with trained bomb-detecting bees waiting inside may await them. It should be accepted as normal.

    Perhaps it is a little excessive to spend thousands of dollars on something so absurd that will most likely never be used in the real world. However, money is still being spent training these bees to do what is normally left to human beings. 

    Taxpayers’ money should be used for more probable and acceptable innovations, not teaching insects how to sniff out bombs. Imagine a world where bees run rampant through airports, causing the civilian populace to erupt into hysteria as the potential bomb-toting maniac is assaulted by security guards. This seems pretty unrealistic, and perhaps more importantly, unsafe.

    We should stick to our archaic technology of metal detectors and full-body searches.  At least we will continue to be safe from swarms of bees and mass hysteria as a result of our inherent fear of insects. Our hard-earned money needs to be put towards an effective security innovation, such as better detectors and well-trained security officers. Let the bees do what they do best -- pollinating the Earth’s plants.

Midgett, a communication junior, can be reached via
dccampus@mail.uh.edu.


 

Last update:
http://www.stp.uh.edu/bn0607/121306/opinion/oped1.html
 

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