Caffeine's buzz attracts bees to flowers | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Caffeine's buzz attracts bees to flowers

Nectar of some blooms carries the drug, which improves bee memory

By
2:32pm, March 7, 2013

Bees apparently have their own version of Starbucks and may even get hooked on the joe: Honeybees are more likely to remember a flower that laces its nectar with a hit of caffeine, a new study shows.

“This is the first instance to show that something we use as a drug is also a drug ecologically,” says study leader Geraldine Wright, a specialist in the neuroscience of animal behavior at Newcastle University in England. Experiments probing the effects of caffeine on the bees’ brains suggest the drug strengthens brain reward circuitry, Wright and her colleagues report in the March 8 Science

Many plants have bitter compounds in their le

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More Chemistry articles

From the Nature Index Paid Content