Caffeine stimulates bumblebees

There is nothing to wake up to to like coffee. And not only we humans perceive that. At least that’s what this study says. Caffeine stimulates bumblebees and makes them more efficient. You can pollinate your plantations better.

Caffeine stimulates bumblebees.  And who doesn't?
Caffeine stimulates bumblebees. And who doesn’t?

The population of pollinating animals is decreasing with climate change. Bees, moths, wasps, butterflies, beetles, birds … it’s important. It affects habitat loss and pesticide use. This brought various fruit growers to a different solution. Like “controlled pollinators”. For example commercial bumblebee colonies that will pollinate your plants.

This helperhowever, they are not as efficient. Some of these insects almost never leave their nests. Others are easily distracted by other nearby plants and do not pollinate the plants.

The new research wanted to find out whether caffeine stimulates pollination in bumblebees. Perhaps they could be taught to have a preference for certain plants. A liquid mixture of caffeine, sugar and the specific scent of the “target flower” was developed. The preparation was sprinkled in the beehive of the small animals.

Not even bees can resist the consumption of caffeine.
Not even bees can resist the consumption of caffeine.
Well trained

“We would see if the bumblebees would harvest all the flowers equally. Or if they chose flowers that smell like the ones they were taught in the nest. This is what Sarah Arnold, study author, explained.

After “training” the insects with the mixture, the scientists released the animals into the laboratory. There have been robot flowers with the “target flower” scent as well as others. They all contained the same sweet nectar. Bumblebees trained on the caffeine mixture have been observed. They were much more interested in the target plants. And there was a subtle effect on the bumblebee’s operating speed. You visited more flowers than usual detailed Science daily. What does this mean? This caffeine can also improve motor learning skills.

That examination was published in the journal on July 28th Current biology.

Click to rate this entry!
(Votes: 0 Average: 0)

Leave a Comment