The many bees of the world aren’t as many anymore, and their population continues to decline rapidly. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but scientists refer to this phenomenon as “Colony Collapse Disorder”.  According to an article by GreenPeace, 

Scientists know that bees are dying from a variety of factors—pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global warming and more. Many of these causes are interrelated. The bottom line is that we know humans are largely responsible for the two most prominent causes: pesticides and habitat loss.”

The crux of the problem

If bees go extinct, major problems will develop.  If they disappeared, so would the plants that they pollinate. After that, the animals that feed on those plants.  In essence, a bee extinction would change the entire Earth.  Not one state, not one region, not one country, but the entire globe.  A huge ecological chain hangs in the balance, so it’s imperative to protect the bees we still have and help them to proliferate in whatever way we can.

But how does cannabis fit into the picture?  Although cannabis isn’t a bee’s favorite flower, some significant information is coming to light about the valuable relationship between these two species.  The buzz around this budding topic has come up for a few different reasons.

Do bees get high?

First off, the CB receptor is a receptor that mammals have that insects do not.  In fact, it’s the only receptor that mammals have that bees lack. This means bees can’t get “high” the way that humans do, so their interest in cannabis is purely professional, not recreational.  They can even be trained to use resin from trichomes in their beehives. The honey they produce would then, in theory, contain cannabinoids.

Dessert for bees

Organic cannabis farms everywhere can benefit bees, and they are particularly beneficial for bees in arid states.  This is because drier regions have fewer flowering plants and often have slightly shorter growing seasons. Cannabis isn’t usually harvested until much later than other crops, thus providing a late season pollen source.  Think of it as dessert for bees after the main course. Male plants from hemp crops grown for seed and fiber have quite an excess of pollen. So while many people currently grow hemp for CBD, as the seed and fiber markets expand, bees will reap the rewards.

Farming responsibly

When compared to GMO crops, organically grown cannabis attracts not only a greater volume of bees, but also a much greater variety of bee species, encouraging biodiversity and attracting both specialist and generalist species.  This means that organic farming practices are as important for healthy bee populations as they are for healthy human populations. We should be using ecologically sustainable agricultural practices to our advantage as much as possible.  We’re seeing benefits for humans and bees already, so who knows what unforeseen benefits might crop up in the future.

In short, these little guys are a BIG deal.  They do nothing but help us, so it’s our turn to return the favor and do our part to help the bees and the Earth as a whole.  At 4 corners Cannabis, we intend to continue doing our part and farming organically and responsibly.