The bees are all coked out

Pax Arcana

Most scientists pursue their careers not for fortune or recognition, but for the ability to totally mess with the animal kingdom for shits and giggles.

crazy-beeFor example, yesterday’s New York Times featured a story about a bunch of scientists with nothing better to do than get a bunch of bees all bazooted on Bolivian marching powder. The alleged purpose of the exercise was to study the biochemistry of addiction, but really they just wanted to see a bunch of coked up bees jiggle their thoraxes double-time:

The researchers looked at honeybees whose job is finding food — flying to flowers, discovering nectar, and if their discovery is important enough, doing a waggle dance on a special “dance floor” to help hive mates learn the location.

“Many times they don’t dance,” Professor Robinson said. “They only dance if the food is of sufficient quality and if they assess the colony needs the food.”

On cocaine the bees “danced more frequently and more vigorously for the same quality food,” Dr. Barron said. “They were about twice as likely to dance” as undrugged bees, and they circled “about 25 percent faster.”

The researchers say the bees performed poorly on bee performance tests after the drug was withdrawn, often having difficulty associating an odor with a sugary syrup.

Reached for comment, a bee said “Well no fucking shit dickhead now give it back to us or I’ll sting your cockhole hey do you know where I can find waffles at this time of night?”

Food Dance Gets New Life When Bees Get Cocaine [NYT]


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