The Bees of Marijuana
There has been much talk of late of the importance of bees in our lives. Now there is excitement growing in the marijuana field. Recent studies have shown that hemp produces pollen that helps to reduce stress in bees. Also, an Israeli company has recently started to market honey produced by bees which feed on cannabinoids. This wonderful source of pollen is a boon for the bees and unexpected addition to the cannabis industry. A sweet new product that has people buzzing!
Bees Love Hemp
Recently a researcher in Colorado found that bees in the late months of summer were using hemp plants for pollen. A project was started to study the relationship between bees and hemp. A student at Colorado State University, Colton O’Brian began to study the late-blooming hemp flowers. His paper on bee diversity describes the flowering of hemp between the end of July to the beginning of September. This is the period when most crops have completed their blooming cycle and when bees become stressful without a pollen source. Although the hemp plant does not produce nectar it does provide a much-needed source of pollen. With late flowering, the cannabis crops provide nutritional pollen for foraging bees. With the decline of bee populations, hemp is showing to be a boost for the ecological system.
The importance of pest control is a concern when looking at bee populations. Certain pesticides can be detrimental to both bees and to the quality of hemp.
In 2016, Nicholas Trainer, a French marijuana advocate, trained bees to produce honey from the resin of the marijuana plant. The resulting “Cannahoney” might have superior medicinal qualities to other cannabis products. Also, the resin from the cannabis plant that passes through the bees’ production of propolis which contains antifungal, antibiotic, antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Ultra-healthy honey with the additional qualities of pain, anxiety and stress relief and enhanced sleep has been produced by bees!! The Israeli company PhytoPharma has developed this honey through feeding low amounts of cannabidiols to bees, calling them “Cannabeez”!
The importance of bees for mankind’s existence cannot be understated. Bees are the main pollinators of over 30% of the world’s main crops and 90% of wild plants. The world is dependent on bees.
The reduction of bee populations worldwide has put these insects in the spotlight. There has not been a definitive answer to the problem of this reduction of the total number; however, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is responsible for a 25% reduction in the U.S. bee population since 1990. This is a mysterious phenomenon and can result in the collapse of a hive with few bees remaining in it. Many theories of potential factors are under the microscope and studies have shown a global worry among scientists. Insecticides, viruses, radiation from cell phone towers, genetically engineered crops and global warming or a combination of these factors could play a part in bee populations.
Since the increasing legalization of marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, cannabis farms have flourished. Marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the U.S according to Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting. This along with an increased demand for honey is a match made in heaven. With increased awareness of the medicinal benefits of CBD and honey, the market abounds with products from lip balms to pet anti-stress tinctures. Honey on toast is wonderful on its own but now that breakfast can begin a day with added benefits! The next time you think about cannabis or think about honey, you may remember that those small winged creatures get some help along the way by the mighty hemp plant.