Bees who have caffeine in their system could be better at pollination. And – like many of us – they also enjoy their caffeine quite a bit.
A team of researchers at London’s University of Greenwich, led by senior lecturer of insect behavior and ecology Sarah Arnold, have discovered that bees who take in caffeine do their jobs better than those that don’t.
The caffeinated bees are better at finding target crops, and they carry out pollination more efficiently.
Bees also seem to enjoy a caffeine buzz. The tested bees preferred to seek out plants whose nectar contained caffeine. The caffeinated nectar was shown to improve bees’ focus and memory skills, too.
What does this mean for agriculture across the globe?
The study could be applied to commercial bees, which pollinate target crops in the agricultural industry.
Agricultural bees could be given caffeine and trained to pollinate certain crops, and in doing so, boost farm production. This could, in turn, increase the availability of food in areas where it’s needed.
There’s still more research to be done on the topic, but the results are certainly interesting – and they give an elevated meaning to “busy bee”!
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