Caffeine Bees Essay

Submitted By Emma-Swanson
Words: 482
Pages: 2

“Nectar That Gives Bees a Buzz Lures Them Back For More”
I chose this article for two main reasons. Reason one, I am a stage four caffeine addict. I get the shakes and wicked headaches if I don’t have my daily dose of this. Therefore, I related to this article and the poor honeybees with my same addiction. The second reason I chose this article is because I have an interest in Honey Bees. I used to draw them all the time as a kid and now I’m looking into a bee-keeping course here in the city. So, I figured this was the best “plant news” I would find that I could relate to and that interested me.
The article talks about naturally caffeine laced nectar in plant species that the bees are attracted to. Studies have shown that flowers with caffeine nectar are more likely to be revisited by the honeybees than those without the addictive addition. It said that some scientists believe that the plants are evolving by adding this caffeine to the nectar because the plants have learned that the bees learn to come back. I have learned that the caffeine laced nectar is mainly found in the flowers of the coffee and citrus plants. The plants have a high level of caffeine in their leaves and roots, which is toxic to their predators, but the nectar has a lower dose of caffeine that is equivalent to a cup of weak coffee that we would drink. It is just enough that the bees remember the smell of the caffeine and therefore are more likely to return to the flowers to pollinate. I also think its interesting that bees have a similar reaction to caffeine as humans do. It gives the bees a type of buzz that wasn’t noticeable to scientists at first, but in the long run, the bees showed a significantly higher return rate to the plants containing…