Bees prefer caffeine and nicotine

February 11, 2010 10:59:19 PM PST
New research about bees shows they could become coffee drinkers and chain smokers if they had their way. Well, sort of.

Researchers at the University of Haifa say bees prefer nectar with small concentrations of caffeine and nicotine over that which that which doesn't have any.

Flower nectar is mostly full of sugars -- providing energy for pollinators. But some plants carry small quantities of caffeine and nicotine, and it is those plants that bees clearly prefer.

Scientists say this could be an evolutionary development designed to make the bee addicted. However, they say more research is needed.