Bees v Humans: alcohol study

The honey bee, long seen as the world's most important insect, is now helping scientists to discover how alcohol affects the brain. The study is part of long-term research into whether alcohol increases aggressive behaviour in humans.

Scientists at Ohio State University fed honey bees different amounts of alcohol and watched how long they spent walking, flying, grooming or just lying on their backs. They also measured the level of alcohol in the bees' haemolyph - the equivalent of blood. Unsurprisingly, the more the bees drank, the less they moved around, informs Guardian.

According to Forbes, "&to=' target=_blank>Alcohol affects bees and humans in similar ways - it impairs functioning along with learning and memory processing," study co-author Julie Mustard, a postdoctoral researcher in entomology, said in a prepared statement.

She and her colleagues gave various levels of ethanol - the intoxicating agent in liquor - to bees and studied the effect this had on their behavior.

The more ethanol they consumed, the more difficulty the bees had flying, walking, standing still and grooming. Some of the bees became so drunk they ended up flat on their backs.

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