A recent study from Cornell University claims that bees gravitate towards cannabis plant for their unique pollen.
The study also claims that the taller the cannabis plant is, the more bees will be attracted to it. Bees are 17 times more likely to choose a a taller plant over a shorter one.
Part of the study explained the reasoning behind this preference:
“Plant height was strongly correlated with bee species richness and abundance for hemp plots with taller varieties, attracting a broader diversity of bee species.”The Bee Community of Cannabis sativa and Corresponding Effects of Landscape Composition, Nathaniel Ryan Flicker, Katja Poveda, Heather Grab, Oxford Academic, 2019.
Unlike other plants, hemp has such a unique flowering phenology that it can provide a critical nutritional resource to a diverse community of bees during a period of scarcity that could have otherwise lead the bees to starvation.
Bees are also still able to work without any side effects from the cannabis because they do not have any camabinoid receptors, the thing that allows you to get high off of cannabis plants.
In addition to being a source of nutrition in times of need, cannabis plants also do not require any pesticides to help them grow. Pesticides have played a major role in the decline of bee populations, but now cannabis can make pollen collections much safer and efficient for bee communities.
With all of this in mind, the study concludes by encouraging growers, land managers and policy makers to consider the environmental value of supporting bee communities and taking the attractiveness of cannabis to bees into consideration when developing pest management strategies.
For more one the fascinating world of bees, you can check out more articles on Trill.