Many fear bees, and a few love to work with them. But no one has trained bees to work with cannabis. Until now.
The responsible conductor known as Nicholas Trainerbees has achieved superhero status in the industry by training bees to produce honey from cannabis resin. The feat is impressive in nature—literally. Especially since bees are notorious for having no preference for the plant.
Trainerbees, a beekeeper and cannabis advocate, confided in DOPE Magazine about his attraction to bees. Observing insects with his father at an early age led to a longing to understand bees. The fascination progressed to a profession in beekeeping when he quit his job as an ironworker locksmith to fully dedicate his time to the technical training of bees.
“I always loved honey and bees and have always had beekeepers as friends, which led me to beekeeping for pleasure,” Trainerbees said. “When I started beekeeping, I started to seek natural swarms that were in chimneys and trees. As an amateur beekeeper, I developed devices to facilitate the recovery of swarms.”
Trainerbees’ admiration for cannabis also started at a young age. When he was just 10 years old, he found the plant to be medicinal for his own hyperactivity.
Four years ago, he began to train the bees to harvest honey from cannabis resin. Trainerbees then took it to the next level by passing a professional beekeeper course. Now that he’s a professional beekeeper in France, he can sell his honey and other products, so long as they don’t include cannabis. Unfortunately, strict cannabis laws prevent him from reaching his full potential. For this reason, Trainerbees is making his way to Spain.
“Smoking marijuana here in France can cost you a 3,750-euro fine and one year in prison,” Trainerbees said. “If you are caught in possession of cannabis, it can cost 7.5 million euros and 10 years in prison. Growing cannabis can cost you 20 years in prison and a 7.5 million-euro fine. We’re not really a country of freedom of expression as talk of cannabis is prohibited, and can make you go to jail. Proselytism is forbidden, even wearing a printed cannabis leaf on your clothing can make you go to jail.”
Training the bees to produce honey from cannabis resin is an impressive talent. Many say that bees are not attracted to cannabis, since it contains no nectar, which is honey’s main ingredient. It is also a wind-pollinated plant, so it doesn’t emit a smell that would attract bees, nor is its pollen packed with protein, which sticks to the bees “pollen baskets.” For these reasons, I asked Trainerbees to describe his process.
“The bees know and naturally like cannabis,” Trainerbees said. “They like pollen from the male, which provides food for future generations. The thing I’ve realized is that they understand that the resin of the female plants can also be used.”
Trainerbees explained that he selects and trains bees to recognize and use the resin in the form of propolis, which covers each cell of the hive. “Obviously, I do not give my secret tips, as they are still under development. All the work is done outdoors and each hive demands two hours of work per day,” he said.
Very few people have visited Trainerbees on his bee-keeping property, as he wishes to keep the process underground at the moment. His wife and a few select people have witnessed the bees produce canna-honey. Those who have tasted it now have profound crush.
“Many say it is like biting into a fresh plant with a mild, sweet flavor, which is totally different from a honey infused with cannabis,” he said.
“Several people have tasted the canna-honey, including Al the Alchemist, Marc Emery, and many others passing by, including reporters, Spanish doctors, engineers, and beekeepers from Poland who want to help develop specific hives.”
In the meantime, Trainerbees assists friends with producing extractions and creams. He is also focusing on technical training courses and other symbiotic plant-insect relationships. “We live in a changing world, where many things have not been made or are still needed,” Trainerbees emphasized.