As hemp cultivation continues to supply customers CBD needs, it appears that the bee population may benefit from it as well.
Over 90,000 acres of hemp has been grown since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, as reported by the United States Department of Agriculture. Therefore, researchers have the opportunity to further investigate how hemp may support the bee communities. So far, scientists have noticed that a range of bees species developed an attraction to this new cash crop.
Many species of bees have suffered from habitat loss and the population has been declining. Bees need to gather pollen and nectar to feed their colony. Nectar provides an important energy source to bees and pollen has all the essential fat and proteins. Due to climate change and the destruction of their habitat, bees are dying and need to find an alternative source.
That being said, hemp might be a valuable resource bees need to get their nutrition. Hemp may lack nectar but it does contain pollen, according to researchers at Cornell University, “As an exclusively wind-pollinated crop, hemp lacks nectar but produces an abundance of pollen during a period of floral dearth in agricultural landscapes.”
Another report from Cornell University states, “Plant height, on the other hand, was strongly correlated with bee species richness and abundance for hemp plots with taller varieties attracting a broader diversity of bee species”. Researchers at Cornell University have found that not only do bees love hemp but the taller the plant is, the more species of bees it attracts.
Hemp produces a lot of pollen and the vital protein bees need, also, it grows during the times when pollen is scarce. With the studies that have found the range of bee species that benefit from hemp, especially during downtimes this may be something we should take advantage off. In conclusion, humans may not be the only ones reaping the benefits from hemp and it may also be the answer to help save the bees!