It’s a sad fact that the health of beehives worldwide are at serious risk. Disease and exposure to pesticides has put a serious dent in their populations over the last few years. Honeybees especially are at significant risk. Fortunately they’ve found an unlikely ally, with an amazing sniffer.
Dogs are hard workers. Some even have careers more varied and exceptional than most people I know. They can be sheep-herders, K9 police, therapy workers, bomb-finders, and the list just goes on and on. Many of these are well known but I bet you didn’t know about one of their more unlikely professions, beekeepers!
At first it seems like an odd fit. How can dogs help with bees? It turns out they can be trained to sniff out the horrible American Foulblood disease in hives before it can spread. Normally this disease requires minute examination off larva to detect, a process that’s understandably long when you’re dealing with hundreds of hives a day. A trained dog can go through 100 hives in just 45 minutes. Since each suspected hive must be isolated and tested, the efficacy of the trained dog’s detection skills can be examined as well. It turns out they are 100% accurate.
They’re so good at their jobs that the Maryland Department of Agriculture has been quoted saying: “If we want to be efficient, we need a dog.” Yet another example of how dogs make our lives better, even in very unexpected ways.