Is Hemp Production Restoring Bee Populations?
Buzz buzz. It’s Rolling Acre here. A.k.a the farmers of the hemp plant and saviors of the bees.
We all know of the recent hemp and cannabis renaissance. Cannabis has been decriminalized or legalized in more than half of states, and CBD products are legal nationwide. Along with cannabis and hemp decriminalization, hemp farming and production has been made legal in 46 states.
That brings us to how hemp farming’s American revitalization is saving not only agriculture (it requires half as much water as corn, no pesticides and can be grown in a variety of climates and terrains), but could also be restoring the suffering bee populations.
Maybe it’s time for the agricultural community to go poll-en on this pretty green wunderplant.
According to a recent study published in Environmental Entomology titled “The Bee Community of Cannabis sativa and Corresponding Effects of Landscape Composition”, bees could benefit immensely from the plentiful and attractive pollen that hemp and cannabis plants produce.
Not only that, but hemp farming has reversed and continues to reverse the impact that traditional farming has had on depleting diversity of local flora, which are bees’ main source of food. Farmers who replace corn or soy fields with hemp aren’t only helping local bee populations, they’re replacing a plant that (despite feeding us ) is overproduced and doesn’t contribute much to the ecosystem.
Meanwhile, hemp flowering occurs when bees need it most. Nearly all hemp crops flower between July and September, perfectly coinciding with low or no pollen production from mainstream crops. Hemp adapts and contributes to nearly any local ecosystem/agricultural community, and bees are especially benefitting from the resurgence of hemp and cannabis farming. Right along with American farmers –including those at our farm.
Bee colonies have been steadily declining in the U.S. due to pesticide exposure and bad nutrition (from low-pollen diets). Many have feared that bees will become extinct—causing immeasurable harm to our planet and way of life.
One of the most positive outcomes from farming more hemp is its lack of need for pesticides. Of course, this not only helps bee populations, but human populations too. Birds, bats, butterflies, and hummingbirds benefit as key pollinators as well.
It’s not necessary to use pesticides on hemp (although some do! Just not Rolling Acre, and hopefully not any quality hemp farms. Make sure you buy your cannabis products from a pesticide-free grow-op!). Hemp is a strong, resilient plant that’s nearly impossible for insects to kill (with the right care).
Don’t worry, we know where you’re mind’s gone— do the bees get high? Are bees that feed on cannabis pollen capable of producing cannabis-infused honey, like in some kind of stoner Pooh Bear pipe-dream? Sorry to break your hearts, but that’s a negative. However, you can sure buzz over to the Rolling Acre online store and grab some honey infused with CBD while healthy bees and magic hemp are fresh on the mind.