What do you get when you cross bees and cannabis? Honey made from pollinated cannabis plants. This cannabis-infused honey doesn’t harm the bees at all to produce, and in addition to tasting delicious, the canna-honey has some interesting medical benefits. CULTURE spoke exclusively with Nicolas “Trainerbees,” the French man behind this winning honey-cannabis combination, to find out the secrets of his bees.
How did you get involved with beekeeping?
I have loved honey since childhood. My first encounters with beekeeping date back to my childhood, with beekeepers in my area. I had wild colonies I was watching and I was collecting honey. Later, I helped beekeepers from time to time and it was seven years ago that I decided to take care of bees in order to collect bee products (honey, pollen, propolis). It was four years ago that I became a professional beekeeper.
How did you get involved with cannabis, and are you a smoker yourself?
Yes I am cannabis user, and have been for almost 30 years. I’m hyperactive and suffering from restless legs syndrome. I started to cultivate and educate myself on cannabis nearly 25 years ago. As the years passed, I have evolved techniques while remaining focused on organic cultivation. In the 2000s, I began to educate and help my friends with medical cannabis.
How did you come up with this idea, and what made you sure it would work?
The idea of ??using the resin came a little over six years ago, after several friends (cannabis users who knew my ability to understand the nature and behavior of bees), said “you’re gonna do well to take the resin from bees to make honey!” It took me four years to get the surprise and joy of seeing the resin inside the hive.
What is your process like for having the bees use cannabis to make honey?
The bees do not use the resin as honey directly; they use it as propolis in the hive. Tips for how the bees take the resin and then use it will clearly remain secret because they are still in development.
What are the benefits of the honey—what is special about it?
People who eat this honey have felt less anxious. What makes it special is its taste, as if we munched directly in the plant with the taste of sweet flowers behind it.
Does pollinating the cannabis have any positive or negative effects on the bees?
The bees are not affected by cannabinoids, unlike alcohol, for example. The colony that produces honey has done so for two years without any particular problems.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far? What could be done differently, or better?
I hope for rapid legalization for all countries of the world. But I also see the slow countries like mine, France, where having a printed cannabis leaf on a T-shirt can be cause to take you to jail. Speaking well of cannabis also makes you go to jail. People still need to be educated to understand that cannabis is not as dangerous as they believe.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Producing bee products (honey propolis) with trained bees is still not currently profitable because the bees lose a lot during the process and after that, the plants are unusable. I have already finished moving (for more security because of the laws of my country) in order to perfect the technique, before thinking about marketing the honey.Top of Form