Hemp could help save the bees, providing an excellent source of nutrition during the season they need it most, new study finds Expanding hemp cultivation in the United States could provide food for the bees during a time of year when few other options are available to them, a new study concludes. Researchers from Colorado State University set up bee traps in industrial hemp fields during peak flowering season to determine whether hemp was “a valuable source of pollen for foraging bees.” Turns out it is. The researchers collected almost 2,000 bees from 23 different bee genera. Nearly half of those were classic honeybees, but specialized genera such as Melissodes bimaculata and Peponapis pruinosa turned up in surprisingly “high proportions.” Hemp flowers are apparently “prolific pollen producers,” making them attractive to a diverse abundance bees. On top of that, they bloom right when bees need them most. Hemp flowering occurs between the end of July and the end of September, a time when other pollinator-friendly crop plants are scarce across the “heartland” of the United States. “Industrial hemp can play an important role in providing sustained nutritional options for bees during the cropping season,” writes lead author of the […]

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