Hemp and the Honey Bee


Why do Bees appreciate hemp plants, and what does this imply for the survival of their species?

Bees, An Endangered Species.

Fascinating preliminary study indicates that Bees appreciate hemp plants. Does hemp have the prospective to restore the dwindling bee population?

According to Greenpeace, given that the late 1990s beekeepers about the planet have observed the mysterious and sudden disappearance of Bees with most reporting a drastic decline in bee colonies.

The decline in the bee population appears to be straight linked to the elevated industrialization of agriculture, parasites and pathogens, climate modify and the widespread use of bee-killing pesticides.

But why are Bees crucial, and how does their sudden decline influence us? The answer to this lies in the worth that Bees bring to our ecosystem, specifically as facilitators of pollination.

Take into account this alarming statistic, practically a third of our meals production depends on pollination. So, you can think about how devastating a planet with no pollinators would be for our meals production.

To comprehend the financial influence of declining bee populations about the planet, think about if we have been to hand pollinate the crops. Such a method would be labour intensive, slow and incredibly pricey. It would price an estimated €265 billion, annually, worldwide, so from a purely financial point of view, it pays to save the Bees.

But how do we go about it? Greenpeace recommends shifting from destructive industrial agriculture towards much more sustainable and ecological farming strategies.

  • This would involve banning bee-harming pesticides.
  • Obtaining an action strategy in spot for fostering the bees.
  • Adopting organic signifies of agriculture.

Nevertheless a current study published in the Journal of Biomass and Bioenergy has identified that restoration of the declining bee population might be accomplished with hemp flower.

Hemp Pollen, a Meals Supply for the Bees?

This study was carried out in Northern Colorado exactly where hemp flowers in between late July and late September. It was led by Colton O’Brien, an entomology student at Colorado State University’s Graduate College.

The notion for the study came to him when he initially stepped onto the university’s hemp fields. He was shocked to learn that swarms of bees have been gravitating to the hemp. This was even much more surprising mainly because hemp is a wind pollinated plant and bees primarily play no part in their pollination.

This revelation fueled O’Brien to additional study how hemp fields contributed to the ecosystem of the bees. What helped his study was that for the duration of the period of this study, there have been handful of other crops that pollinated in the area.

So, he set up a couple of traps when the hemp was in complete bloom with the aim of obtaining out what bees are attracted to the pollen offered off by hemp. With the traps, O’Brien was in a position to confirm that the bees have been collecting pollen from hemp.

Colorado is household to about 66 species of bees of which 23 of these species have been identified to be gravitating towards the hemp fields. They identified pretty much two,000 bees from 23 unique bee genera. Most of these (38 %) have been classic honeybees, but there have been also specialized genera such as Melissodes bimaculata and Peponapis pruinosa that turned up in surprisingly higher proportions.

Additionally it wasn’t just the bees that have been benefiting from the hemp pollen but also parasites of particular bees. Even though the parasites weren’t taking the pollen straight from the hemp flower, they have been using the pollen purchased back by the bees. O’Brien believes that hemp fields developed the “dynamics of an ecosystem” for bees that previously didn’t exist with no the hemp plant.

This study could hold immense prospective as economists try to reverse the trend of the declining bee population. In hemp, scientists might have identified a appropriate pollinating crop to increase their habitat and safeguard their lives, not to mention deliver a precious meals supply for endangered bees. The researchers concluded that hemp can be an ecologically precious crop whose flowers are eye-catching to a quantity of species of bees.

Even though additional research are incredibly a great deal required to analyse the nutritional worth of hemp pollen to bees as nicely as the interactions of the various cannabinoids in the hemp flower with the physiology of the bees, this study puts the spotlight on hemp cultivation which is gradually becoming much more well-known than ever, given that it has been lately federally legalized. But with enhance in hemp production, there is an elevated threat of pests attacking the crops. It will eventually be up to the farmers to create an integrated pest management strategy made to shield pollinators whilst controlling pests.


Malcolm Pinto.


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