Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.

Subscribe

Logo for

Science 339 (6124): 1157-1159

Copyright © 2013 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Caffeine Boosts Bees' Memories

Lars Chittka, and Fei Peng

Pollination systems are biological markets, where flower visitors choose between flower species on the basis of their quality, such as the sweetness and amount of nectar per flower. Plants in turn compete for pollinators and advertise their product through colorful visual displays and scents. A key challenge in floral advertising is that signals must be not only attractive but also memorable (1): The more distinct a flower signal, the more likely a pollinator is to remember it, increasing the probability that pollinators will visit more flowers of this species while ignoring competing flower species. On page 1202 of this issue, Wright et al. (2) report that some plant species appear to gain an unfair advantage in this competitive market by manipulating the memory of bees with psychoactive drugs.

Psychology Division, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK.

E-mail: l.chittka{at}qmul.ac.uk


THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CITED BY OTHER ARTICLES:
Tasting the bitter and the sweet, honeybee memories, and visualizing calcium throughout entire astrocytes.
E. M. Adler (2013)
J. Gen. Physiol. 141, 511-512
   Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products


Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882