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THE EFFECTS OF BEE POLLINATION ON CANNABISPhoto Credit: PXhereSean ErasmusEver wondered what would happen if you get bees too attracted to marijuana. Well with the various applications of cannabis in our everyday lives and the development of the industry in the last decade, people often wonder in what other ways we can benefit from this super plant. Whether we use it in our foods, or for our health or even the clothes we wear. Well, today we'll be exploring how bees benefit from cannabis and vice versa.
And I know what you are thinking, "Can Bees even get high?". Now as funny as that would be, they do not, this is due to insects not having cannabinoid receptors of any kind. However, they are more attracted to the cannabinoid plant than expected. One might even say they like it more than humans do, but not for the same reason. Researchers at the University of Cornell found that these attractions are due to the sweet pollen produced by cannabis plants, which makes it strange considering that bees are attracted to bright plants with a more nectary taste. Now it is possible for said pollen to end up in a batch of honey, but does it have the psychoactive quality? Well sorry to cut your buzz of excitement a bit short, but unfortunately, it doesn't. After extensive research by an Israeli cannabis technology company, Phytopharma International, along with Dr Dedi Meiri, head of the Cancer and Cannabinoid Research Lab at the Technicon - Israel Institute of Technology. The study successfully discovered a method that allows bees to naturally expose active cannabinoids in their honey, producing an effectively medicinal edible that is not psychoactive at all. It does benefit them in other ways though. Bees can make cannabinoid honey by processing the trichomes into their honey. Some of which is taken with their pollen can also be turned into propolis.
Propolis then acts like a poly-filler to help repair and clean their hives.
Propolis is also antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-fungal and antibacterial. Like an all-natural cleaning service, but for bees. The study also found that the taller cannabinoid plants attract 17 times more bees than the smaller plants and that there are 16 different variations of the plant supporting these bee colonies. However, the bees seem more gravitated towards the male plants that grow alongside the female plants.
This is crucial information given that they are responsible for the cross-pollination of most plants such as fruits and vegetables. This raises concerns in regards to the pollination of the cannabis plants, which is mainly wind-pollinated.
But the amazing part of the relationship between bees and cannabis is the contribution to bees survival. The fact is thanks to pesticides, habit destruction and climate change, the bee population has plummeted severely. But the interesting part is that common cannabis plants can help with the depleting bee population.
But due to cannabis plants essentially being a weed, which makes it super easy to grow mainly due to it not needing any pesticides, nor does it require a lot of water. So, conclusion? Well for starters, questions regarding bees and cannabis can lead to a list of questions that were thought malarky about ten years back.
But also, that both bees and cannabis species can benefit from each other in various ways, especially in the long run. And further development can give bees the positive buzz they deserve. Photo Credit: Eric Ward