Caffeine in nectar strengthens the memory of bees
Caffeine is found in the flower nectar of citrus and coffee plants, among other things, and appears to give them a competitive advantage over other flowering plants.
As the researchers Lars Chittka and Fei Peng describe in Science Magazine, bees remember these flowers better thanks to the caffeinated nectar and can therefore find them more quickly in the next few days. It has long been known that the consumption of caffeine improves the memory performance of humans – but that the same mechanism of action works in a similar way in bees is new.
Closer studies, in which the researchers added sugar solutions to caffeine, showed that three times as many bees successfully reacted to it the next day and preferred the “coffee” nectar.