Hemp fields provide a source of pollen for stressed bees.

It turns out that bees attack male flowers in hemp fields to look for pollen for their babies.
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Researchers believe that hemp could be an additional source of pollen for bees.

Good news for bee-goers: Hemp fields may contain a nutrient reserve for starving colonies, according to a study conducted by an Ontario entomology student. Colorado State. Low THC cannabis attracts a wide range of bee species and could become a late season pollen source for bees.

Industrial hemp plants, become part of the menu of American bees as the states create pilot programs of legal culture. Neither hemp nor the other strains of Cannabis sativa grown for recreational or medicinal purposes offer insects any nectar, and all rely on the wind to spread the pollen. Yet, a large variety of bees appeared in two experimental plots of hemp during a month-long collection experiment led by Colton O'Brien, an entomology student with Colorado State University at Fort Collins.

23 genus 66 bees reported in Colorado have fallen into O'Brien traps, he reported on Nov. 11 at Entomology 18, the annual meeting of companies American and Canadian Entomological Entities. O'Brien and his advisor, Arathi Seshadri, think this is the first survey of bees in cannabis fields.

"You walk in the fields and you hear buzz everywhere," says O'Brien.

He caught big drones, tiny bees covered with a kind of metallic green sweat, and many others that were plundering in the abundant yellow-green pollen scattered by the flowers.

Photographed by Amanda Robinson. Photo by USGS PWRC.
A female Agapostemon virescens collected at Caroline Co. in Maryland.

Bees need pollen to feed their offspring, and when looking for traps in August 2016, there were not many other flowers that bloomed. Little is known about the nutritional qualities of hemp pollen for larval bees. Yet commercial hemp patches can become a rare food source for pollinators during a stressful period, O'Brien said. The health of honey bees has deteriorated in recent years, and conservationists are also concerned about the fate of many fewer wild bees in the world. © Tudia © es. O'Brien urged crop specialists who are currently developing pest management strategies for outdoor hemp to consider bee health.

Pest control techniques for hemp are still in progress. One wonders even what insects are considered harmful to hemp, said entomologist Whitney Cranshaw, also of the State University of Colorado. New potential threats have emerged since the beginning of the 20th century, when farmers were growing hemp with very low THC levels, as a fiber crop and other practical uses. Anti-drug legislation has eventually made it illegal to grow any form of cannabis for decades in the United States.

A striped two-tone bee visits a variety of flowers

The US 2014 Farm Bill, however, makes the difference between hemp with less than 0,3% THC in dry weight and high-THC cannabis varieties whose intol © rêt is the recreational and medical use. This distinction has allowed states such as Colorado and Kentucky to set up regulated culture programs with the goal of reviving this potentially promising crop. But this raises new questions about this old types of plants.

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