Yesterday, October 17, 2018, Canada legalized possession and consumption of weed, pot, grass, cannabis, marijuana, or as my father called it, Mary-Ja-Wanna. Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the motion proposed by the justice minister a year ago. It took a year to get ready. Now it’s the law. This makes Canada the second country in the world (Uruguay was first) to make the stuff as legal as whisky. Some health workers are concerned legalization sends the wrong message to youngsters. It does. But it doesn’t saddle an errant 18-year-old (or 78-year-old) with a criminal record. The police favoured the new law as it reduces time spent ticketing small possessions. Police and legislatures hope that decriminalization will cut into gangster revenue. Organized (and disorganized) crime had been collecting six billion dollars a year in Canada from their cannabis trade. Libertarians in Canada were also pushing for the change, believing that less government is better government.
I’ve never used weed and probably won’t ever use it, though people have been urging it on me for decades. However, I became curious about marijuana honey. Does the plant secrete nectar which honey bees could collect? And should I be worried that my backyard hives might access my neighbour’s deck next summer and her home gardening might include a few blooming buds, and my bees might collect MJ nectar, which my bees might turn into cannabis honey and I might mail a jar to my sister in the USA, and a Homeland Security hound might sniff out the cannabis in the honey, and I might be arrested for international drug smuggling?
I can relax. My neighbour only grows tomatoes on her deck. But even more important, marijuana is wind pollinated. The plant doesn’t secrete nectar to attract pollinators because this weed has been married to the wind forever. No nectar, no honey. Does cannabis have extrafloral nectaries or other body parts that ooze sugary THC? None have been convincingly documented.
Bees can’t make honey from weed. Weeds, perhaps. Weed, no. However, there has been a weed and honey operation of a sort going for a while in France. The operator’s claim is that he has ‘trained’ his bees to collect ‘resin’ from cannabis which the bees ‘add’ to the honey they make. I don’t want to sound skeptical, but I doubt it. You can read about Nicolas Trainerbees and his trained bees here and here. Training bees to collect marijuana resin would be akin to training bees to collect propolis. I don’t think it’s possible. However, here’s a video of his ‘trained’ bees. What do you think?