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Could honey bees help pinpoint ovulation?

In a recent issue of the Irish Times, it featured an article that claims that honey bees may help with identifying diseases and tracking ovulation cycles.

The study is following in the footsteps of scientific research that focuses on the odors released by the chemicals in the body. For example, there are researchers that are in the process of designing an electronic nose to detect illness. In addition, there are other studies that are currently looking at using dogs to sniff out cancer.

You are probably wondering how the bees can function as a pre-diagnostic tool as sorts? Ms. Soares, who is working with the bees on this project, trained the bees to be sensitive to pheromones and toxins that are found in skin cancer, lung cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis. The bees are put into a glass ball that is made up of 2 chambers. The larger of the two chambers contain the bees, and the smaller one is used to blow into. When the bees smell and detect a specific pheromone or toxin in the person’s breath, they then fly into the smaller chamber. She claims that the bees have been 99 percent accurate because of their 170 smell receptors which make them very sensitive to smells.

Ms. Soares sees using bees in this same way to keep track of fertility/ovulation cycles as well. So, move over BBT thermometers because here come the bees! :)

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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.