Coffee is a daily necessity for many people but did you know bees also love caffeine? Coffee plants are not the only ones whose nectar contains caffeine it’s actually quite common for flower nectar to be caffeinated.
Scientists published a study in Current Biology that measured how often a bee would choose a caffeinated flower over one without caffeine. They found that not only will bees frequent that flower more often but they also performed their recruitment “wiggle” to let other bees know where to find the good nectar. But is it better for the bees?
The study also found that it made little addicts out of the bees. They would forage more often but only return to caffeinated plants while skipping perfectly nutritious substitutes. The effects would last for days while the bees who never had caffeine would move along to new food sources. Plants use the bitterness of caffeine to put off would be predators and this bitterness shows up in the honey of the bees who drink it and the bees forage below optimal rates since they stay in one area too long.