Bees like hemp, and that’s a good thing

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Farmers aren’t the only ones attracted to hemp

It turns out that hemp isn’t just good for a number of health issues; it’s good for the environment, as well. Bees have been found to be attracted to hemp and this revelation can help create ecologically sustainable practices in the agricultural industry.

A study published this month in the Biomass and Bioenergy journal shows that researchers from Colorado State University laid ten traps at industrial hemp fields in the northern part of the state to collect bees. The traps were left for five days during peak flowering season and, when they were collected, the researchers found almost 2,000 bees from a total of 23 different genera. 38% were classic honeybees, but there were also other types, such as Peponapis pruiosa and Melissodes bimaculata that were found in surprisingly “high proportions.”

The researchers also found that the hemp flowers are more attractive to bees than are other crops. Similar studies conducted with different types of crops were not able to produce the number, or variety, of bees that were collected during the most recent study.

Declining bee populations have led scientists to paint a grim picture of the future. However, this study could prove to be extremely beneficial in reversing the debilitating challenges faced by the winged insects.

This is why finding a suitable pollinating crop that can improve the bees’ habitat is vital to not just the bees, but to all the ecosystems they occupy. The researchers concluded that hemp can be “an ecologically valuable crop whose flowers are attractive to managed honey bees and a wide range of wild bees.”


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