Research: Honey Bees Are Being Used For Detecting Early-Stage Cancer

Posted Nov 24, 2013

Inscentinel is U.K. based company that focuses on insect research.  According to Inscentinel’s research, honey bees can be trained for detecting early-stage cancer in humans.


Susana Soares created a glass device for diagnosing honey bees and the breath on patients.  Bees have a sensitive sense of smell and they can detect odors that a human nose cannot.  There are biomarkers associated with tuberculosis, lung cancer, skin cancer and diabetes that can be detected through smell on a patient’s breath.

Soares’ glass objects has two enclosures.  It has a small chamber that a patient breathes into and a large chamber that trained bees are kept.  If the bees detect an odor that they are trained to detect, they will fly into the smaller chamber.

The bees are trained by exposing them to the small and then feeding them sugar so they associate the smell with the good food.  Soares said that the trained bees are very accurate in early medical diagnosis.

You can learn more about the research at Inscentinel.

[Source: Mashable]