Coffee Flowers Give Bees a Buzz. There is an amount of caffeine in the nectar of citrus and coffee flowers, improving bees long-term memory.
A group of scientist have found that low doses of caffeine are present in the nectar of coffee flowers and many other types of citrus flowers.
Therefore when honey bees and other species obtain this drug (caffeine) when they forage on these flowers, they increase their memory for that particular floral scent afterwards. These flowers have an amazing floral aroma, the best that we have smelled.
Scientist discovered and measured the nectar of the caffeine(drug) level in the three main types of coffee trees,(Arabica, Robusta and Liberica) and some citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemons, pomelo and oranges). They found that all had slight amounts of this drug, and the coffee flowers nectar the most. The bees forage from all of these flowers.
A bee will remember the floral scent and aroma of the coffee flower and citrus flowers longer and keep returning to it to forage. It is difficult for a bee to remember the floral traits of the flowers, as they work very fast between flowers.
The phrase that, coffee flowers give bees a buzz.
Therefore the caffeine mystery may be solved. As the drug is bitter when tasted in isolation. The bitterness is a defense mechanism for the plants to prevent herbivores from eating the plants.
The nectar in coffee plants is sweet enough and to low to have bees taste the bitterness. So it will be for all the pollinators. But its high enough to give them an memory boost.
Bees have the ability to move quickly and immediately find the aromatic flowers and obtain good valuable nectar.
The above photo shows a blue bee species on the coffee flowers.
It was also found that the scent or aroma is only released when the flower is going off. Then the bees arrive for that wonderful aroma.
A wonderful benefit for the bees and the plants.
Nature is so wonderful, and shows you that each plant has their own defense mechanism. Either to attract pollinators by using the drug in the nectar or plant leaves to defend itself.
Honey bee with pollen on its leg baskets foraging on the aromatic coffee tree flowers.
Learn about the coffee tree and beans, in farm lifestyle. With photos. Behind the scenes of coffee.
Another post on the aromatic coffee flowers and bees.
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