Drunk bees

For instance this has happened with the bee populations around the Australian Parliament.

Abrahamson and colleagues have studied the effects of ethanol on bees extensively and found, among other things that honey bees “do not have an  aversion to ethanol, will self-administer ethanol, and will consume alco holic  beverages found palatable to humans.” In their research setup, most bees returned to the alcholic beverage every time and all bees returnet at least 50 % of the time.

Most of their bee subjects consumed the equivalent of a human drinking 11 liters of beer each time they returned to the test site.

Bees also don’t learn to avoid alcohol like many other animals do, by associating the effects of alcohol with the smell and/or taste of the food/drink containing the alcohol.

But, that’s okay, bee, I don’t learn either :p



Abramson, Sheridan, Donohue, et al. (2004) “Development of an Ethanol Model Using Social Insects: III. Preferences for Ethanol Solutions” doi:10.2466/pr0.94.1.227-239

Varnon, Dinges, Black, Wells and Abramson (2018) “Failure to Find Ethanol‐Induced Conditioned Taste Aversion in  Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)” https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.13761