Birds, Bees, and Cannabis Pollination

by Shanti
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As the cannabis industry grows larger its influence on flying insects broadens. Bees and other flying insects are an important part of our ecosystem. The influence of cannabis honey cultivation on our pollinators will affect our planet.

Pollination is essential to the world’s flowering plants and food crops. Bees, flying insects, birds, and other animals pollinate plants, flowers, and food crops. 

The bee, one of the world’s best pollinators, carries pollen on the tiny hairs of its body. 

Bee Pollination

During flight the bee’s body picks up a negative charge. This charge helps pollen stick to the hairs of the bee’s body while traveling from plant to plant.  This pollen falls from the hairs into the next plant for fertilization. 

The relationship between pollinators and the plants they pollinate is mutually beneficial.  A plant’s pollen is rich in protein.  Bees eat pollen for the essential protein.  And they aren’t the only ones. 

Wasps, ants, moths, butterflies, beetles, flies, mites, spiders, and birds also consume pollen.  This consumption of pollen results in pollination. 

When animals eat pollen the tiny grains stick to the hair of their body and are then carries onto the next plant.  87.5% of the world’s flowering plants get pollinated by animals.

Experts estimate bees pollination directly influences approximately one-third of global food production. 

Honey bees in particular are superb pollinators. Wing structure, body design, and tiny hairs all assist in the process. Bee pollination is responsible for the production of several key food crops, in addition to weed honey.

Apples, cranberries, melons, and broccoli rely on honey bee pollination. Blueberries, cherries, and a few other crops are 90% dependent on honey bee pollination.  Almonds are almost entirely dependent on honey bees for pollination.  Corn crops in the US make use of honey bees in addition to the local bees to get corn pollination accomplished. 

A Decline of Pollinators

The need for superb pollinators has never been greater.  Despite our need the number of flying insects is declining at a rapid pace.  A German study found there were 76% fewer flying insects in 2017 when compared to 27 years earlier.  These results raises an issue of responsibility.  The cannabis industry is not immune. 

How to make weed honey

Bees love cannabis plants for its pollen.  In a recent study researchers discovered many different kinds of bees show an interest Cannabis Sativa pollen. Researchers believe that these weed bees have an interest in cannabis because of the abundance of pollen.

Cannabis sativa is a dioecious plant, it has separate male and female plants.  Cannabis plants must produce more pollen than plants with both male and female parts.  The overproduction of pollen serves as a sort of insurance. The more pollen a cannabis plant produces the greater the chance pollen will fertilize another plant.

Researchers in Colorado determined bees were in fact consuming cannabis pollen.   Cannabis pollen fed these bees during a dearth of pollen from local plants.  The difficulty?  Scientists do not know the final effects. 

The effects of cannabis sativa pollen on the bee, the hive, or the bee products we consume is yet to be determined.  More research is required.

Our Responsibility with cannahoney bees

Before we can use bees and other flying insects to pollinate Cannabis sativa crops we must know more.  We cannot ignore the responsibilities we have to our tiny friends.  They share this planet with us and we need them. Blindly following other industries dependent on pollination by flying insects is too dangerous. We must determine our consequences first.  Avoiding the truth is irresponsible.

As cannabis lovers, our responsibility is to the betterment of our world and the people in it.  We can only do this if we protect our tiny pollinator friends. 

Peace, love, and cannabis!

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