Happy World Bee Day! Bees are essential to all life on Earth. They are the most important pollinator of plants, which keep the cycle of life turning. Not only do plants provide food for all types of animals, they also provide most of the oxygen in our atmosphere. Needless to say, without bees we could not sustain life on earth as we know it.
It has been widely reported that bee populations have experienced a steep decline. Between October 2018 and April 2019, about 38 percent of beekeeper’s colonies died, the worst winter die-off on record. Suggested causes for the decline include pesticides, various pathogens, loss of habitat, and poor nutrition due to lack of pollen, among others.
In recent years there has been a growing movement to increase awareness and help save the bees. A recent National Geographic poll asking, “If you could dedicate your life to saving one species, which would you choose?” found that 55% of respondents chose bees, with elephants a distant second.
In comes hemp to save the day! A recent study from Colorado State University reported that industrial hemp could help declining bee populations as it is a terrific source of pollen. Most hemp crops flower between July and September which happens to coincide with a lack of pollen production from other farm crops. This can significantly improve the problem of poor nutrition mentioned above and help sustain bee populations as hemp becomes more widespread. So, go out there, plant those seeds and help the bees!