Nick French, owner of Frangiosa Farms and creator of Colorado Hemp Honey, is testing out ways to revolutionize both the beekeeping and industrial hemp industries.
French is the creator of a product called Colorado Hemp Honey. He combines the natural healing properties of raw honey, essential oils, and the recently re-discovered benefits of naturally occurring hemp extracts to create this unique, small-batch honey. Found in industrial hemp, the hemp extracts and raw honey are used as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals to relieve pain and anxiety without any psychoactive effect.
The healing properties of the extracts in the industrial hemp plant must go through an intense extraction process for the benefits to be received. Using his knowledge of the symbiotic relationship between bees and plants, French wanted to test out the more natural route of adding these extracts to Colorado Hemp Honey.
In 2015, French began the first of many planned research projects. This first project set out to determine if bees were able to use industrial hemp as forage. He wanted to test if bees would transfer the naturally occurring extracts to the honey instead of adding the extracts to it after the honey was produced by the bees.
If successful, this practice would ultimately be a cost savings to both the beekeeping community and industrial hemp farmers.
French completed the research project in the summer of 2015. “Cannabis honey is just not possible,” French concluded. “Cannabis, although rich in pollen, is naturally nectar deficient and since bees need an abundance of nectar to produce honey they will be forced to look in other places to find it.”
Although cannabis honey was not a possibility, French did make an amazing and unexpected discovery during this experiment. He found that with some special equipment, he could encourage the bees to collect the resins from the hemp and store them in the hive. Bees used these resins to create propolis – which is a powerful antimicrobial compound used to sterilize and repair the hive. For humans and animals, it can be used to heal wounds and fight certain diseases and bacteria.
“This was an incredibly exciting discovery; the bees must have found some nutritional or healing benefit in the cannabinoids, specifically Cannabidiol (CBD), and collected high quantities of it on their foraging flights to use in the hives,” said French. “People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for these hemp extracts and the bees are doing it for us for a fraction of the cost. This is amazing!”
Although the results of his first research project were not what he had hoped for, the idea and time invested were both groundbreaking. He plans to continue with other projects to advance both the beekeeping and industrial hemp industries. Some of these projects include discovering if the additional pollen in the hemp plants will create additional forage for bees when there is a local forage shortage and determining how much of an increase bees have on seed set and yield through biological pollination.
About Frangiosa Farms:
Colorado Hemp Honey is a product of Frangiosa Farms, located in Parker Colo., about 25 miles south of Denver. Frangiosa Farms has six apiaries and specializes in producing raw honey-based super-foods. Owned and operated by U.S. Marine Corps veteran and local beekeeper Nick French for nearly a decade, Frangiosa Farms uses organic practices to retain the purity of its wellness products. The company is focused on supporting local hemp farmers and engaging in community outreach and raising healthy bee colonies. Colorado Hemp Honey is the first Colorado small-batch, artisan raw honey to be combined with whole hemp plant extracts.
Colorado is just one of 26 states that have legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp. The U.S. hemp industry is currently a $60 billion market, but most of it is imported from China.