Letter: Bees and CBDPosted by On

Published: 10/14/2022 7:00:11 AM

I have a couple of beehives, and like other beekeepers, I struggle to keep the bees alive and free of parasitic mites that weaken the bee’s immune systems and kill the hives. The use of chemicals to control mites is problematic since the mites can develop resistance to the chemicals, just as bacteria that infects humans can become resistant to antibiotics. So a research paper entitled “CBD Supplementation Has a Positive Effect on the Activity of the Proteolytic System and Biochemical Markers of Honey Bees (Apis Mellifera) in the Apiary” (reported in the news as “Why Bees Love Weed”) caught my eye.

Researchers in Poland fed bees in outdoor hives sugar syrup containing hemp derived CBD (cannabidiol) and subsequently found these hives had bees that were healthier and lived longer than bees not fed CBD. The bees who got CBD had stronger immune biomarkers and ability to neutralize pathogens. Vermont has legalized hemp farming, New Hampshire does not have legal hemp farming. Is it possible that Vermont bees, living near chemical-free hemp fields, are healthier than New Hampshire bees denied access to this beneficial plant? The paper cited above should encourage hemp farming in New Hampshire. Bees need all the help, and hemp, they can get.

Michael Scanlon


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