Birds And The Bees And More Cannabis Sativa Please: Can Hemp Stem Bee-Colony Disappearance?

Zinger Key Points
  • VIDEO: Check out this gem, a bumble bee buzzing around a Lupine.
  • Researchers look at industrial hemp to provide sustained nutritional options for bees during cropping season.

Bees have been in crisis since 2006 when beekeepers first reported the sudden disappearance of entire colonies, though it took a while for the rest of us to sit up and take notice.

The nonprofit Bee Informed released preliminary results of a study that shows commercial beekeepers in the U.S. lost about 39% of their honeybee colonies from April 2021 to April 2022.

 Bee colonies are collapsing due to the combined effects of climate change, intensive agriculture, pesticides use, biodiversity loss and pollution. 

Save The Bees, Save Humanity 

The loss of honey bees and other pollinators could mean malnutrition for millions around the world.

"The absence of bees and other pollinators would wipe out coffee, apples, almonds, tomatoes and cocoa to name just a few of the crops that rely on pollination," said José Graziano da Silva, FAO's director general. "Countries need to shift to more pollinator-friendly and sustainable food policies and systems."

Scientists from Colorado State University’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences may be doing just that with industrial hemp by providing sustained nutritional options for bees during the cropping season. 

Hemp To The Rescue?

In the study published in the Biomass and Bioenergy Journal, researchers found that hemp could not only help prevent the die-off of bees but could also maintain species diversity.

No Nectar From Hemp Plant, But That's Okay 

While hemp does not produce any nectar, it requires far fewer resources to flourish and little to no pesticides, making it an ideal home for bees.

The Colorado study showed that 23 different genera of bees were found on wind-pollinated hemp plants, demonstrating its efficient support for pollinators. The pollen-rich nature of hemp makes it an even more ecologically valuable crop. 

By adding hemp to their crops, farmers could see a significant improvement in their crops and move a step closer to ending the honey bee crisis.

What's To Be Done?

  • Build a pollinator garden with wildflowers
  • Enhance nesting spots
  • Be cautious with pesticides

And Now, Enjoy This Gem: A Bumble Bee On Lupine.

 

Photo: Peter Pike by Pixabay, Super Prin and irin-k by Shutterstock

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketshoney beesIndustrial HempJosé Graziano da Silva
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