Bazz isn’t just wearing adorable doggie sneakers and a scary-looking perma-cone of shame. And he’s not headed into space. He’s trained to sniff out American foulbrood, a quick-spreading disease that infects bee larvae and wipes out beehives (as if bees didn’t have enough to worry about). Without the gear, Bazz wouldn’t be able to get within sniffing range without getting stung.
Bazz’s trainer is Josh Kennett, a beekeeper in South Australia. “I’ve tried to develop a suit the dog can wear and hopefully avoid being stung,” he told Australian broadcast system ABC. It took him a bunch of trial and error — as you can imagine, most dogs aren’t thrilled about wearing a beekeeper suit. But it’s a worthy cause:
The disease devastates beehives, and to date there’s no cure for it, so good control and quarantine are essential in apiaries across Australia.
“We’ve now proven the concept, he can find the infected hives.
“The only challenge now is getting the dog comfortable with the suit. It’s hard to change a dog’s habits overnight” [Kennett said].
Hard? More like impossible. Here’s hoping Bazz gets a big doggie treat after such a ruff job.
Dog suits up for a day in the hives, ABC.