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Badgers and Dogs sniff out bees

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29 August 2008 - BBC News

Researchers studying the decline of the bumblebee have trained a dog to sniff out the insects in the wild. Toby, a three-year-old Springer spaniel, can find the bees' nests, hidden in dense undergrowth or in the ground, using only his nose.

Experts at the University of Stirling said that studying the threatened bees was made much harder because of the difficulty in tracking them down. The three-year project involving Toby is the first of its kind.

Prof Dave Goulson, who will oversee the work of Toby, said that his involvement would give a huge boost to conservation efforts.

The plan to use Toby was inspired by research which found that badgers hunt bee nests for food using their sense of smell.

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