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Alcohol. 2006 Apr;38(3):179-83. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

Reduced ability of ethanol drinkers for social communication in honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica Poll.).

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  • 1Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Foraging behavior was evaluated in honeybees trained to fly to a feeder containing sucrose only, 1% ethanol, 5% ethanol, or 10% ethanol. The results indicated that exposure to ethanol disrupted several types of honeybee social behavior within the hive. Consumption of ethanol at the feeding site reduced waggle dance activity in foraging bees and increased occurrence of tremble dance, food exchange, and self-cleaning behavior. These ethanol-induced changes in behavior may reflect effects on the central nervous system similar to the previously observed effects of food poisoning with sublethal doses of insecticides.

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