Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bees Again

My bees have gone to bed for the winter, but there are still bee stories to talk about. This one is very odd:

Buzzed bees may help scientists better understand drunken human behavior, say Ohio State University researchers.
"Alcohol affects bees and humans in similar ways -- it impairs functioning along with learning and memory processing," study co-author Julie Mustard, a postdoctoral researcher in entomology, said in a prepared statement.
She and her colleagues gave various levels of ethanol -- the intoxicating agent in liquor -- to bees and studied the effect this had on their behavior.
The more ethanol they consumed, the more difficulty the bees had flying, walking, standing still and grooming. Some of the bees became so drunk they ended up flat on their backs.

Heh. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I'm not sure if I like the idea of experimenting with bees this way, unless we can prove that they experiment with us in the same way. And given the onset of the flu season humans should be very grateful to the bees for the honey which added to hot water and lemon is all the immunization we are going to get this year.