NCBI ROFL: Oktoberfest week: I'm totally buzzzzzzzzed.

By ncbi rofl | September 22, 2010 7:00 pm

318555478_77ea6f7470The behavior and social communication of honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica Poll.) under the influence of alcohol.

“In this study, the effects of ethanol on honey bee social communication and behavior within the hive were studied to further investigate the usefulness of honey bees as an ethanol-abuse model. Control (1.5 M sucrose) and experimental (1.5 M sucrose, 2.5% w/v ethanol) solutions were directly administered to individual forager bees via proboscis contact with glass capillary tubes. The duration, frequency, and proportion of time spent performing social and nonsocial behaviors were the dependent variables of interest. No differences in the relative frequency or proportion of time spent performing the target behaviors were observed. However, ethanol consumption significantly decreased bouts of walking, resting, and the duration of trophallactic (i.e., food-exchange) encounters. The results of this study suggest that a low dose of ethanol is sufficient to disrupt both social and nonsocial behaviors in honey bees. In view of these results, future behavioral-genetic investigations of honey bee social behavior are encouraged.”

honey_bee_alcohol

Photo: flickr/Henrique Vicente

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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