Bees Can Detect Medfly-Infested Oranges

Use of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.) to Detect the Presence of Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann) Larvae in Valencia Oranges

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Early View 


BACKGROUND: When fruit deteriorates a characteristic profile of volatile chemicals is produced that is different from that produced by healthy fruits. The identification of such chemicals allows the possibility of monitoring the fruit for early signs of deterioration with biological sensors. The use of honey bees and other insects as biological sensors is well known. This study aimed to identify the volatiles produced by oranges infested with larvae of the Mediterranean fruit fly and to test the ability of honey bees, conditioned to this volatile chemical profile, to detect such oranges.