New York Times

Here’s how bees get a caffeine buzz

Once they get a buzz on, they search no more.

Internet Culture

Published Oct 25, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 6:21 pm CDT


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Caffeine improves learning and memory in bees, as it does in people. Scientists know that. But, one might wonder, what do these laboratory findings mean in terms of the actual lives of bees? It’s not as if a flower meadow is sprinkled with coffee shops.

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Except that it is, in a way. Up to 55 percent of flowering plants are estimated to have caffeinated nectar. So any meadow or forest is going to have lots of places to stop by for a jolt.

Margaret J. Couvillon of the University of Sussex, who studies the behavior of honeybees, wanted to see how caffeine affected bees’ behavior.

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Screengrab via New York Times 

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*First Published: Oct 25, 2015, 1:42 pm CDT