Surprise! Coked-Up Bees Get Buzzed, Too

Drugged-up bees get overexcited and dance like crazy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2009 11:08 AM CST
A bee collects nectar from a flower in Sunflower Village, 22 miles west of Amman, Jordan.   (AP Photo/Mohammad abu Ghosh)
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(Newser) – Coked-up bees get as buzzed as their human counterparts, the New York Times reports. Researchers probing the nature of addiction discovered that when bees were given a dose of cocaine their judgment was altered and they became much more enthusiastic about food finds, performing the waggle dance more often, faster, and for longer.

When the bees were forced to quit coke cold turkey, they scored lower on performance tests than their undrugged colleagues. The bees proved to be a highly effective way of studying the effects of drugs on the brain and the findings could someday help tackle drug addiction in humans, say the researchers—whose work is published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.