When bees have too much to drink and come back to the hive with a buzz, they annoy all the busy, sober bees. They’re just like us.
But sometimes those drunken honeybees are perceived as a threat by their hive mates, however, and get their legs chewed off.
The animal kingdom is replete with critters getting tipsy, and there’s growing evidence that many of them, like dolphins and monkeys, are doing it on purpose.
“Even our domestic pets have a taste for nature’s elixirs from time to time,” says an Instagram post from Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences.
“Drugs in Nature” will be the topic of discussion for a third installment of the museum’s Adult Nightcap series June 17. Previous nightcaps focused on parthenogenesis, which is asexual reproduction without sperm, and genitalia of the animal kingdom.
“The idea is to talk about really interesting topics of nature that you can’t really discuss in a family setting,” said Mike Kaczmarczik, adult programs developer at the Academy.
The event is online and lasts from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for Academy members and $10 for nonmembers and can be purchased through Eventbrite. Special guests Don Shump, a beekeeper, and veterinarian Maria Mick will discuss animal intoxication.
“She’ll discuss how some animals react to anesthesia or what happens if an animal gets into an owner’s stash,” Kaczmarczik said.
The most common form of animals getting high is from ingesting fermented fruits and nectars, but caribou have been known to eat the hallucinogenic fly agaric mushrooms, and dolphins, Kaczmarczik said, supposedly take hits from puffer fish toxins.
The late ethnobotanist and psychedelic explorer Terrence McKenna once suggested that hallucinogens helped primates evolve into humans. That became known as the “Stoned Ape Theory.”
Kaczmarczik said the nightcap series will remain online for now, but there’s been some discussion of in-person talks too.
“The audience is growing,” he said.