There is no plan bee. If bees couldn’t spread pollen, the world would struggle to survive. So, at Puregenics, we’ve decided to help sustain our local bee population by installing beehives and growing lavender on our farm.
Pollen is an incredibly important food resource for bees (especially for bee larvae). And as hemp has a faster growing cycle than most other crops (100-180 days), this can be a great pollen source for bees during early spring, all the way through to very late summer. A time when other pollen sources are in short supply.
Pollen is said to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties for bees, with some studies showing that honeybee health, development and survival can be influenced by the quality and diversity of pollen they collect. And unfortunately, when bees don’t have enough pollen variety, they’re more likely to catch viruses.
A study published by the Royal Society in February 2019 showed that when honeybees have ‘higher-quality pollen diets’, they’re getting ‘significantly higher iron and calcium content’, which helps to ‘buffer’ them from ‘stress in their environment, including disease and pesticide exposure’. High-quality diets are known as ‘polyfloral pollen’ (multiple types of flowers) or ‘high-quality single-source pollen’ (such as clover, oilseed rape, pear and almond).
While we’ll have to see if specific studies around hemp pollen and bee nutrition develop, some research has already shown that one third of all bee species in Colorado essentially survived off hemp pollen during months when they would normally lack access to their primary nutrition source. And even though hemp doesn’t produce any nectar, bees are still attracted to it, and seems to be helping their ecosystems too.
When our beehives have been installed, we can’t wait for the first bit of honey to be produced. We’ve decided to bottle the small quantities in its natural form straight from the hives to be sold locally in Southern Spain.
We’ll keep you posted on our socials, so you can see how they’re doing.