Chemical Composition of Four Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Pollen and Bee Preference

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2020: $229,933.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2023
Grant Recipient: North Carolina A&T State University
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Beatrice Dingha
North Carolina A&T State University
Dr. Arnab Bhowmik
North Carolina A&T State University
Louis Jackai
N. Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Research on nutritional requirements in combination with improving bee protection has recently increased because of the continuous global decline in the abundance and diversity of bees. The decline is currently attributed to several stressors, including climate change, diminishing forage resources, and pesticide use, among other factors. Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a new crop that is grown over a wide geographic area in the United States, providing economic and nutritional benefits to humans. However, the contribution of hemp floral resources (pollen) to bee nutrition is not well understood. We investigated the chemical composition of pollen from four industrial hemp varieties (Canda, CFX-2, Henola, and Joey) and documented the abundance and diversity of bees on the crop using two sampling methods. Results showed differences in composition among the four hemp varieties. Overall, the Joey variety was the most preferred by bees, despite expressing lower protein, amino acid, and saturated and monosaturated fatty acid content. Based on our findings, we concluded that industrial hemp pollen provides some nutritional benefits to bees. However, it is important to understand that multiple sources of pollen are needed for sustained bee survival.
Beatrice Dingha, North Carolina A&T State University
Louis Jackai, North Carolina A&T State University
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Educators; Researchers; Consumers
Ordering info:
Beatrice Dingha
[email protected]
North Carolina A&T State University
1601 East Market St.
Greensboro, NC 27411
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.