Research has revealed that bees could become chain smokers and regular visitors of Starbucks if they had their way.
According to a study carried out at the University of Haifa, bees prefer nectar with small concentrations of caffeine and nicotine over that which that which didn’t have at all.
There is a reason for this other than God deciding that there should be more profit for coffee chains and cigarette companies. Flower nectar is mostly full of sugars providing energy for pollinators, but some plants carry small quantities of toxic substances, such as caffeine and nicotine.
Scientists were trying to work out whether this was there to attract bees, or whether they were just byproducts of the whole process. “This could be an evolutionary development intended, as in humans, to make the bee addicted,” said Professor Ido Izhaki.
From the research, bees clearly preferred nectar containing caffeine and nicotine over the clean nectar. However, not more nicotine than that found in nature – bees aren’t stupid enough to do that to themselves.
The research didn’t figure out for sure whether the having addictive substances in nectar was part of an evolutionary process. However the assumption is that plants that survived natural selection carried the right amount of these substances, giving them the advantage over other plants.
What the scientists should also be testing is what these substances are doing to the bees. Do they start shaking if they don’t get enough nicotine? Does too much caffeine make them fly around like maniacs?
Heaven knows what cocaine could do. Make them try and sting anything that moves and turn them into wasps we’d imagine. Everybody hates wasps.