This study could pave the way for future research that might uncover new ways to prop up the struggling bee population
A team of researchers from Cornwell University found that bees are highly attracted to cannabis because of the plant's abundance of pollen.
The team went out into cannabis fields in New York and found huge numbers of bees thriving around the medicinally-beneficial plant, reports Metro.
The findings, however, are unusual, since cannabis plants do not produce the sweet nectar found in typical floral varieties that attract insects; neither does it bloom flowers that are bright in colour.
Regardless, this study could pave the way for future research that might uncover new ways to prop up the struggling bee populations. As many as 16 different varieties of bees along the north-eastern region of US can be repopulated.
The bees, despite hovering day-long around the cannabis plants, are unlikely to experience the plant's psychoactive effect since the plants are technically hemp crops and therefore have lower levels of THC – the active chemical in cannabis that induces the "high".
The recent legalization of cannabis in the US offers the bees a unique floral resource during late summer - a period of native and agricultural floral dearth - when pollen resources are limited and bees are deprived of the nectar they need to reproduce.
Bees, a crucial pollinator across the world, are responsible for plant reproduction and play a pivotal role in food production. Without bees, many crops would simply disappear.