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Thread: Poison Hemlock

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Oberlin, KS. USA
    Posts
    12

    Post

    I am just starting beekeeping and expecting my first bee's to arive in a couple of weeks. The area I am going to place my hives is by a creak that is full of Poison Hemlock. The entire creak bottom will be white with the flowers from this plant. I have two questions first do I need to be concerned with the polin and nector from this plant poisoning people or the bees? Second if it is safe will the bees get any benifit from this plant?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Benson North Carolina
    Posts
    27

    Post

    Just a thought, I stated in another post that my bees attack poison ivey blooms each year and make some of the best honey. I wouldn't be too concerned the bee knows. I have also seen a huge field of clover in ripe bloom just in front of several hives and the bees didn't even attempt to forage in it.
    I just take all of this as the bee is much smarter than I am and enjoy their returns.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Big Grin

    From what I've learned about these plant's is that there is an oily base on the leaf's that is toxic,an not the flowers them self, It's regarded as a major honey source, Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Woodinville, WA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Poison Hemlock

    Hi I thought I should add my two cents... which is that i think poison oak makes fine delicious honey-- not totally sure about this --but some plants do contain stuff that could make you sick... I would also mention bees can bring in pesticide-laced honey I think this happened to me when I had bees in commercial raspberry pollination.

    I think caution would be reasonable here... but take the time to observe where the bees are foraging. If there is no activity on the poison hemlock then don't worry about it but if there is a lot of activity you should be at least a little cautious because... that's gonna be what you are putting in your mouth later. I am sure the oil in the stem joints is where the poison is most concentrated but that does not mean it is not in the nectar. Unless someone who keeps bees in the same area knows the plant in question and that the nectar is totally safe... this beekeeper should probably continue to be uncertain and to use some caution. Hopefully there is no risk of death. If it doesn't taste good or you don't feel good... leave it for the bees and wait for honey from a better source.

    http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.co...l#.VtqVmlsrLnA

    This site says poison hemlock is makes edible honey but it also says oleander does, which from what I have read I have no reason to believe... so I question the authority of this site but at least it mentions the topic...
    Last edited by brand's bees; 03-05-2016 at 02:45 AM. Reason: confusion

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Poison Hemlock

    In Southern California the commercial beekeepers place big rows of hives by the river. The river bottoms are choked in some areas with Hemlock. If there was a problem everyone would know., because eating 3 tablespoons of the root , or seeds, will generally bring death. So, I guess the nectar is fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: Poison Hemlock

    Quote Originally Posted by beetobee View Post
    Just a thought, I stated in another post that my bees attack poison ivey blooms each year and make some of the best honey. I wouldn't be too concerned the bee knows. I have also seen a huge field of clover in ripe bloom just in front of several hives and the bees didn't even attempt to forage in it.
    I just take all of this as the bee is much smarter than I am and enjoy their returns.
    After I planted some red clover, I mentioned it on here and was told that Bees don't like red clover, the structure of the blooms makes it difficult for them to access the pollen. After that, if I planted any clover, it was crimson clover. Not sure, but I think there are several varietals of white clover that bees like.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,145

    Default Re: Poison Hemlock

    Plants with poisonous resins would make me more concerned about the propolis coming in from them if in fact I was harvesting propolis. However I don't know if there's any foundation for that concern either. Maybe labeling it Hemlock honey might help it move and bring a higher price for the honey
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Beekeeping Facebook Page

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Monclova, Ohio USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Poison Hemlock

    Quote Originally Posted by exmar View Post
    After I planted some red clover, I mentioned it on here and was told that Bees don't like red clover, the structure of the blooms makes it difficult for them to access the pollen. After that, if I planted any clover, it was crimson clover. Not sure, but I think there are several varietals of white clover that bees like.
    Yellow sweet clover is best clover. Bee love it. I planted an acre of it for my bees. Lots and lots of yellow flowers on each plant.
    J and R Apiary
    NW Ohio USA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Woodinville, WA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Poison Hemlock

    Quote Originally Posted by jadebees View Post
    In Southern California the commercial beekeepers place big rows of hives by the river. The river bottoms are choked in some areas with Hemlock. If there was a problem everyone would know., because eating 3 tablespoons of the root , or seeds, will generally bring death. So, I guess the nectar is fine.
    Good info. Thanks!

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