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Bees get a kick from caffeine, study says

NEW YORK — Talk about a caffeine buzz: A new study says that honeybees get a shot of caffeine from certain flowers and that it perks up their memory.

That spurs them to return to the same plant, boosting its prospects for pollination and the future of the species.

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Maybe it should not be a surprise that one of the flowers is the coffee plant. Its nectar offers about as much caffeine concentration as a cup of instant coffee. But some citrus plants serve caffeine too. It is found in the nectar of orange and grapefruit blossoms.

The caffeine helps a bee remember that the flower’s scent promises a tasty payoff, so the bee will seek out those flowers, transferring their pollen, the researchers said.

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