The government admitted guilt in the case for failing to keep the minefield sign, but the court has yet to determine financial compensation.
It may be a while before the honeybees hit real minefields, Kezic said. First, they will conduct controlled tests, with real mines but which are marked.
Kezic said American researchers have in the past experimented with mine-searching bees, but TNT — the most common explosive used in the Balkan wars — wasn't part of their experiment because its smell evaporates quickly, and only small traces remain after time. Rats and dogs are also used to detect explosives worldwide, but unlike bees, they could set off blasts on the minefields because of their weight.
Even after the de-miners have done their job in an area, some land mines are missed and remain in the soil, and they are most often the cause of deadly explosions. Once the experiment with bees proves scientifically reliable, the idea is to use them in the areas that have already been de-mined, where their movement would be followed with heat-seeking cameras, Kezic said.
"We are not saying that we will discover all the mines on a minefield, but the fact is that it should be checked if a minefield is really de-mined," he said. "It has been scientifically proven that there are never zero mines on a de-mined field, and that's where bees could come in."
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