View Full Version : Yellow (Carolina) Jasmine help please...

03-24-2011, 07:53 PM
My wife is freaking out that she might have to get rid of her Yellow Jasmine that she loves.
I told her it was toxic to bees and we might have to get rid of it.
Do I need to cut it down or will the bees be ok?

Ted Kretschmann
03-24-2011, 08:40 PM
It can kill a few bees when it blooms. The bees do not recognize it as poisonous. When you look on the bottom board, you will see a few freshly dead bees that died from over ingestion of Yellow Jasmine pollen and nectar. If your hive goes queenless, the toxins in the yellow jasmine will cause the queen cells to be built long and they will be useless. Now having said all this, I suggest that the few bees that the jasmine kills is not worth having your home go queenless when you chop down her favorite plant. TK

03-24-2011, 08:43 PM

03-24-2011, 08:49 PM
From American Honey Plants, Frank C. Pellett, 1920 American Bee Journal

YELLOW JASMINE (Gelsemium sempervirens).
The yellow jasmine is a well-known poisonous climbing vine common to the Southern States from Virginia to Florida and west to Mexico. Its yellow flowers, in short axillary clusters, appear in early spring (February and March) and are very fragrant. The vine climbs over trees to a great height, often 30 feet or more. It yields pollen and probably some nectar. It is reported as poisonous to the bees.
"For the past nine years I have observed, commencing with the opening of the yellow jasmine flowers, a very fatal disease attacking the young bees and continuing until the cessation of the bloom. The malady would then cease as quickly as it came. The symptoms of the poisoning are: The abdomen becomes very much distended, and the bees act as though intoxicated. There is great loss of muscular power. The bee, unless too far gone, slowly crawls out of the hive and very soon expires. The deaths in twenty-four hours, in strong stocks with much hatching brood, may amount to one-half pint, often much more. My observations have been verified by dozens of intelligent beekeep¬ers breeding pure Italians where Gelsemium abounds."—Dr. J. P. H. Brown, American Bee Journal, Nov., 1879.
As to the effect on animals poisoned by the plant we quote Pammel as follows :
"Dr. Winslow gives the toxicological effect on animals as follows: Muscular weakness, especially in the forelegs, staggering gait and falling. These symptoms are followed by convulsive movements of the head, forelegs and sometimes of the hindlegs. The respiration is

slow and feeble, temperature reduced, and there is sweating. Death occurs because of respiratory failure."—Manual of Poisonous Plants.

It is also my understanding it is highly toxic to humans especially children.

Kindest Regards
Danny Unger

03-24-2011, 10:36 PM
Your wife should keep her jessamine if she loves it. Azeleas, jessamine, rhododendrons, there are an abundance of plants in bloom right now that are not good for the honeybees. Whatever she has in the yard is an almost negligible fraction of what they will forage on. The good thing is that at the same time that these toxic blooms are so prolific, so are other blooms that the bees prefer like blackberries and blueberries.

03-25-2011, 05:59 AM
She's not happy about it because she finally has it growing well but I have convinced her it's probably better if we get rid of it.
Of course, bribing her with other plants did help!:)
Thanks for the advice!

03-25-2011, 07:35 AM
I would leave it. There is a lot of it in my area, and I rarely see bees working it. As stated above, one plant will not make a difference compaired to the volume of resources they work this time of year.

03-25-2011, 11:30 AM
I have one blooming 20 feet from some hives in the home yard, the bees want pay it any attention. If that is all they had maybe it would be an issue. It is better if your wife doesn't have to give up anything because of your bees. The next thing that will have to go will be you.

03-25-2011, 02:11 PM
Leave it alone. I doubt that it is the only yellow jasmine w/in bee flight. R U going to go around the neighborhood chopping them all out?

Just like I have to keep reminding orchard owners, BEES FLY.

The few you loose won't make a diff to your cols.

I just picked up 100 queen cells today. Lynn B. showed me what happens to queen cells when jasmine is in bloom. He says, at times, during jasmine bloom, they might loose 30% of thhe queen cells in the cell finishers.

03-25-2011, 02:14 PM
I have one and my neighbor has a large one also. I personally have never witnessed a honeybee on them and I keep from 10 to 20 hives within a 100 yrds.

03-25-2011, 05:25 PM
Yes. I plan on going yard to yard and making sure I rip out all the yellow Jasmine or Jessamine!:shhhh:

No, just kidding. The bees are OUR bees, not just mine but I will leave it if y'all say it's o-tay.

I will still try to bribe her into getting something else that is productive to the bees!

Thanks for the advice!

03-26-2011, 08:55 AM
We have loads of this stuff around my home yard. I mean acres of it. And we had a mild spring so it bloomed profusely this year. It is finished blooming now and I did not notice and difference in spring build up. I have had nermous queens mate over the past month. I'm not sure how much the bees work it. I have never saw a honey bee on the YJ. The bumble bees work it pretty hard.