Bee populations are decreasing worldwide, and this is causing great concern to scientists, as bees are major pollinators.
Enter Cheech and Chong to the rescue! OK, maybe not exactly, but, research has proven that bees love cannabis, and this could be a solution to the declining bee epidemic!
A recently published Cornell University Study found that bees are highly attracted to cannabis because of the plant’s plentiful amounts of pollen. The finding could pave the way for future research that might uncover new ways to prop up the struggling bee populations of no less than 16 different varieties along the north-eastern United States. The study also found that the tallest hemp plants attract 17 times more bees than the shorter ones.
The results of the study are somewhat surprising. Cannabis doesn’t produce the sweet nectar found in typical floral varieties that evolved to attract insects. The bright colors that often attract bees and other insects to other plants are also less dazzling on the cannabis plant as compared to other flowers, also compounding the unique finding.
With all the rage over CBD products, and waves to legalize marijuana nationwide, the increased cultivation of cannabis plants could have the additional benefit of saving the bees!
“The rapid expansion of hemp production in the United States… may have significant implications for agroecosystem-wide pollination dynamics.
As a late-season crop flowering during a period of seasonal floral dearth, hemp may have a particularly strong potential to enhance pollinator populations and subsequent pollination services for crops in the following year by filling gaps in late-season resource scarcity.”
Bees, a crucial pollinator across the world, are responsible for plant reproduction and play a pivotal role in our food production. Without bees, many crops would simply disappear.
The study’s authors go to lengths to explain that although bees are significantly attracted to hemp, cannabinoid-rich pollen won’t infiltrate our diets, and nor will it “have an impact on bee development due to the lack of cannabinoid receptors in insects.”
So the bees can’t really get stoned or the munchies off of cannabis pollen, but their unexplained attraction to it, could save us all!