Monday, November 15, 2004

Getting A Buzz On....

If I could start every Monday with a news story like would be in perfect balance - unlike these bees.

I simply love to envision "scientists" making harnesses out of straws for bees and then getting them bombed.

Does anyone else think this is either a hoax news story or a research project that might have had its genesis a few hours after happy hour ended?

From the Hartford Courant

You might not want to sit next to these drunks at your local bar.

To study the effects of alcohol on human behavior, scientists at Ohio State University have been getting bees drunk.

Honeybees were placed in harnesses made from pieces of drinking straws and then observed as scientists gave them different doses of ethanol — from the equivalent of a glass of wine to several shots of 100 percent grain alcohol.

To the surprise of no one, the bees receiving the most ethanol spent the least time grooming, walking or flying. Instead, they spent the most time flipped upside down on their backs.

"They couldn't coordinate their legs well enough to flip themselves back over again," said Julie Mustard, a postdoctoral entomologist and lead author of the study presented recently at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego.

"Honeybees are very social animals, which makes them a great model for studying the effects of alcohol in a social context," said Geraldine Wright, a postdoctoral student at Ohio State and co-author of the study, which was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. "Many people get aggressive when they are drunk. We want to learn if ethanol consumption makes the normally calm, friendly honeybee more aggressive