back to article Bees on cocaine: The facts

News has emerged of the latest threat to nature: drug-addled bees, hopped up on crack by crazed scientists. Some bee experts believe that cocaine could have "as devastating an effect on honey bee society as it does on human society". The scientists in question are Andrew Barron of Macquarie University in Australia and Gene …


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  1. Stuart Elliott

    What do you mean Officer?

    This cocaine is purely for my bee collection, which erm, are out on reconnaissance at the moment..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is like a take on

    Reefer Madness

    We need a movie, words alone aren't convincing enough.

    It would also be interesting to see if the Bee actually did find more pollen and the levels it made prior to doping perhaps the waggle dance was not an exaggeration. I seem to remember the 80's was a good time for the UK, and we all know the dust was flying about quite liberally then.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Seems like...

    an excuse to have lots of cocaine lying around the lab for christmas... Next, the effects of lap dances on the relevence of research...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    El Reg?


    had to check my browser's location bar to make sure....

  5. cirby

    Not a problem

    For one thing, where are they going to get the tiny little coke spoons?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    More study needed

    And so they get more funds to live *and* to legaly buy Peruvian Marching Powder.

    I'd like to see the payments sheet ...

  7. Iain

    Please Officer...

    It's not mine, I was just holding it for the bees...

  8. gsl

    Tabloid Headline

    Cocaine scientists caught in sting operation.

  9. GumboKing


    Sounds like they got quite the buzz.

    My coat is already on.

  10. Alan Fisher


    sometimes I wonder about why we allow these people to have research money.....I'll bet some of the white powder goes walkies too....hmmmm

    coking up innocent bees....that's sick people. What's next? Ants on acid? Humming birds on heroine? Termites on te 'eerb? If i gave blow to my dog to see how it affected his behaviour, I'd be justifiably locked up!

  11. Rob

    Sterling work!

    As soon as they have figured out how Bees get addicted they can then fix us humans, obviously being so close genetically speaking.

    Right I'm off to a serious meeting that requires me to waggle dance my proposal to the CEO.

    Mine's the one with yellow and black stripes and covered in pollen, sorry I meant cocaine.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    So some people at University needed an excuse for being in possession of a quantity of cocaine and this is the best one they could come up with?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    How do you get funding for this type of study.

    Think I can get funding for Cats on Canabis?

  14. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Hopelessly Hooked on a Line and Sinking.


    Is that the Attraction of Afghanistan to Bumblers? It is certainly an ESPecialist Forces Humain Terrain Team Systems Environment .... Addictive Theatre of Operations in which to Lose Everything even as far as beyond Sanity.

  15. Andy Worth

    Spider research

    They already did some research of the effects of various drugs on spiders, the results were rather interesting. Go to Youtube and search for "Crack Spider" if you haven't already seen it.

  16. Alan Esworthy

    Researchers on Government Grant Money

    New has emerged of a long-standing threat to unbiased basic research: money-crazed professors and post-docs willing to debase themselves shamelessly for hit after hit of government grant money. Some experts in the theory and philosophy of scientific research believe that government cash has "as devastating an effect on free inquiry as the Spanish Inquisition."


    All together now: And No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition!


  17. James

    W T F ? ? ?

    "They also think that more bee study will have relevance to the problems of human addiction" or in other words "We've run out of money and would like a huge grant to investigate this further and keep us in work for the next few years".

    Surely you investigate humans to find out the "problems of human addiction".

    Or is this April 1st? Have I just been asleep for the past three and a half months?

  18. Alvar

    Prizewinning research?

    Surely a strong contender for next year's Ignobel prize?

  19. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    You can just imagine it.....

    Strung out scientist number 1: "Dude, I really need a hit, man, but I'm light."

    SOSN2: "Don't stress, bro, we'll just start some craaaaazy project with some coke, and then we just cream off some of the samples..."

    SOSN1: "What, like getting bees stoned?"

    SONS2: "What have you been sniffing, homie!?!?!"

    And the rest, as they say, is valued scientific research history...

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Utter tosh

    The scientists made up the experiment and the results just to get their grubby little mitts on hard drugs at the tax payers expense.

  21. CarlMc

    What a waste

    of good cocaine.

  22. Random Noise


    So some reasearchers are getting funded to buy loads of coke to give to the 'bees'.

    And there's a credit crunch going on!

    White lab coat icon to hide all the coke that got 'accidentally' spilled *sniff*

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Err this is a joke right ?

    Theres no article about bee's on the link and some very suspect signs in the article?

  24. The Other Steve
    Thumb Up

    In other news

    Researchers have shown that Polar bears also act like complete and utter knobs when coked off their boxes. An effect never before seen, since until now, no one has been wrecked enough to stuff a 1300 pound Ursus maritimus full of Bolivian marching powder.

  25. James O'Brien

    So that explains it....

    It explains the broken windows in my house, the fact that all my stuff was gone and the honey on the walls. . .damn drug addicts.

    /mines the one with the white outfit and the hat made out of mesh

  26. Anonymous Coward


    "as devastating an effect on honey bee society as it does on human society"

    You mean the bees would start forcing the workers to take piss tests and call the keeper on any caught using?

  27. Ben Mathews

    Wonder how this research project started...

    Student 1: Gee, wouldn't it be great if we could get loads of free cocaine!

    Student 2: Yeah, but it'll never happen.

    Student 1: No, wait, I have a cunning plan for our final year research paper...

  28. Bryce Prewitt

    Wait a tic...

    Well, it's snowing outside, so I guess it's not April 1st.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    So do bees get a really good buzz?

    I'm outta here...

  30. Andus McCoatover

    Christmas prezzie request..

    Lewis - can I have some of that stuff you've bee'n smoking - or have the Apoitedans 'cracked' up on it? (How the little buggers can carve it up with a Gold Amex Card beats the fuc*k out of me. No credit cards in UK anymore, I understand?)

    S'nuff said.

    Have a good Christmas!

    (Andus - former beekeeper, and _never_ a crack smoker - licked a few cracks in the pursuit of "Man Oysters" however, but that's another tail)

  31. Matt

    'snow joke

    so thats where the bees disappeared to all summer

  32. NetNeo

    Bees on coke!

    Gives a whole new meaning to "what a buzz!"

  33. Michael Miller

    This is drugs.........

    This is your bee on drugs.......

    Any questions?

  34. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Predictable bad joke

    I wonder if they got a buzz out of it?

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Great just what we need

    Another scientific study of highly questionable value. Oh yes please mr. scientist please do take more of my tax money to fund more grants for this "valuable" research. I desperately need to know if bees twisted on coke will perform fly by stingings, or put the female bees out on the stroll to fund their drug habit. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big advocate of scientific research but in all honesty I fail to see where their enlighten findings will lead us.

    Now if they can make hybrid bees with freekin' laser beams all doped up and killing each other then I might be interested. Until then all I can say is, meh.

    Icon cos sometimes I feel like common sense and reasoned thinking are alien concepts in today's world.

  36. Fozzy


    the final piece of the puzzle. The total sum for human knowledge is now complete, we are able to now sit back and relax. Here I thought I would never see it in my lifetime

  37. Kanhef
    Thumb Up

    Ig Nobel nomination

    'nuff said.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Iam Me

    Hmmm ..."freekin' laser beams"

    Wonder what a shark on coke with a freekin' laser beam would be like.

    Kill it fast.

  39. Andrew Punch

    I live near Macquarie University!

    Come to think of it the other day I let a bee in my house. His car had broken down and wanted to use the phone. I turned around for a second and he stole my wallet. Probably needed some money for his next high.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Just no good

    This is a bad joke on the students and on tax money by someone at the university who seems to have had too much fun with drugs in the past.

    These students - or young researchers - will not learn anything from it besides of what they would have learned had they given cocaine to tomatoes. None of this will be of use in their futures - unless someone is expecting them to become social workers, who can turn drug addicts into royal worker bees. When asked by any employer regarding the type of research they did they proudly can tell to have had success with giving cocaine to bees?! They will wish to have taken samples out of a bull's anus instead and once they realize the situation they have been lead into.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC 21:54

    I can see the splashy Hollywood film trailers now. /cue booming voice and suitably tense music... "In the last battle for civilization only one can survive. The bees and sharks form a tense alliance to over throw human beings once and for all..... No retreat... No surrender... Who will survive... Who will reign supreme. The genetically mutated cocaine driven sharks and bees with their ferocious lasers. Or the humans struggling against the onslaught?" /cue dramatic cut scene and more tense music.

  42. Anonymous Coward


    It's incredible they could even open the can in the first place!

    - Mines the one with a copy of 'Attack of the Killer Bees' in the pocket.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    No need to score coke off dodgy geezers in toilets anymore. Just paint yourself in lurid black & yellow stripes and hang out in your local university labs.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's be honest....

    The truth is that the "researchers" probably spent an entire year fucked off their tits and wanking onto a large pile of government grant money, then when it was time to show some results they made up a load of shit that nobody is ever likely to bother to try and prove wrong.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC : I seem to remember the 80's was a good time for the UK

    You were certainly smoking something in the 80's. At least you've got the next 10 years to look forward to which are looking just as good.

  46. Tony Batt

    May i be the first

    to welcome or coke-addled laser-wielding apian overlords

  47. Anonymous Coward

    You lot are pretty cynical...

    It seems like a pretty good idea to me.

    Investigate the effects of cocaine on a society by giving it to a highly structured and organised microsociety, i.e. a honeybee colony, and observe the subsequent effects as that society ceases to function properly.

  48. Jon Double Nice

    If nobody has done so already

    I'd like to nominate this story for Headline Of The Year, truly journalism at the its most absolutely fantastic pinnacle.

    Oh yeah, and also can we have a bees on coke icon please?

  49. Alan Ferris
    Paris Hilton


    Do Playmobil make bees?

    Paris, 'cos no-one has mentioned her 36 bees yet

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cocaine is not a narcotic

    "The scientists in question are Andrew Barron of Macquarie University in Australia and Gene Robinson of the University of Illinois, and some fellow bee and narcotics experts."

    Cocaine is a stimulant, which unlike narcotics, increases awareness and/or activity within the sympathetic nervous system or the central nervous system, or both.

    Heroin, morphine, opium are examples of narcotics. Narcotics blunt the senses and depress the nervous systems.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    @AC Re: You lot are pretty cynical...

    It is not a pretty good idea, it is a sad and stupid idea. Set a bee hive on fire and watch it "cease to function properly". In a human society people start fighting the fire. Whatever comparison you are trying to make you will just be cruel to a bunch of insects. You need to know the effect on a human society before you can compare both. And what would be the point of that?

    Our society has declared the drug as illegal, it has studied it, it is fighting it and in parts of it is it still being consumed. That is the effect of cocaine on us and It is all functioning properly. Those who study its effect on bees are maybe the ones who have ceased to function properly, and I am not being cynical here.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Our society has declared the drug as illegal

    Which means, of course, that no research should ever be done on it, ever, because it's obviously bad or else it wouldn't be illegal in the first place, right?

  53. skeptical i

    Still not seeing the relevance.

    One could argue that this experiment can demonstrate what happens when organized societies are faced with bad actors within those societies, but I don't entirely see how this translates to human societies (which, I assume, is the must-include clause for all research grants, i.e., "and this will better help us understand and address issues in human society by ... ") since (a) we had a large scale experiment in the early 1980s on the introduction of cocaine into society (think "Gordon Gekko", _Less Than Zero_, leg warmers), and (b) to my knowledge individual bees do not have free agency to the extent humans do (economic coercion aside). Interesting? Sure. Relevant? Not so sure.

  54. theotherone


    who funds this shit exactly?

  55. Simon Brown

    vaguely trying to take this research seriously

    Putting aside the howls of ridiule for a short moment, is it possible to consider that some useful information could come out of this research? They're suggesting that addiction functions even in the primitive brain of a bee. Humans, with far more complex brains, still suffer from addictions, even to stimulants, the reward system must be hard-wired into brains generally. Does this research give the lie to the "it's just will-power" approach to detox? Surely studies in primitive organisms on how to treat withdrawal could inform research on the human brain? Or is it just me that thinks we spend way too little time and money researching treatment for addictions generally? Given how much of our GDP is spent insuring our belongings against thefts carried out by junkies to feed their habits, one wonders why there is such an objection to these scientific studies.

  56. Anonymous Coward

    Re: vaguely trying to take this research seriously

    If we get lucky then these researcher will develop the perfect cocaine. A cocaine without the negative side effects and the ability to give you the willpower to overcome any addictions.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Bees on cocaine

    Doing addiction research on bees looks exotic and weird. Doing research on rats or mice requires feeding quite a lot of paper to the research ethics bureaucracies. Several rounds of correspondence may be necessary to feed the pedants. The route from project idea to experiment is much shorter if one can find an insect model instead of a mammal model. So I predict there will be more work on bees.

    They're cheaper too.

  58. Mike Crawshaw
    Black Helicopters

    @ theotherone

    "who funds this shit exactly?"

    Government grants. Which, thankfully in this case, means US and Australian taxpayers rather than you & me. Maybe DARPA will come up with a scheme to use bees to attack terrorists and reward them with cocaine. Or something.

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