Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Julie A. Mustard

Second Advisor

Richard Kline

Third Advisor

Md Saydur Rahman


Caffeine is produced by plants as a defense mechanism against herbivores and pathogens. However, caffeine was found in floral nectar, which contradicts nectar's role in attracting pollinators. Interestingly, low concentrations of caffeine were shown to increase alertness and locomotion in mammals and invertebrates, indicating it may enhance the productivity of pollinators. This investigation examined how caffeine affects activity levels and motor behaviors in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. To test overall activity, forager bees were collected and fed 1 M sucrose to satiation. The following day, bees received 10 µl of 1.0 M sucrose alone or with caffeine ranging from 10 -6 to 10 -3 M reflecting concentrations present in nectar. Then, subjects were placed in the DAMSystem360 activity monitor for 120 minutes. To assess motor behaviors, bees were observed for 10 minutes at 5, 30, or 60 minutes after consumption. Behaviors were recorded using The Observer 5.0.


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