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Thread: toxic pollen?

  1. #1
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    Default toxic pollen?

    If anybody has the answer to this question, I'd love to know---are there any types of plants whose pollen (or nectar or both) are toxic to bees? One candidate might be the castor bean plant. Another would be poison ivy or sumac.

    A corollary question would be---if there plants with poisonous pollen, are the bees smart enough to keep away from them?

  2. #2
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    Yes there are plants with toxic pollens and nectars. Yellow (Carolina) Jasmine is toxic to the bees, and Azealas make honey toxic to humans.

    -Nathanael
    Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary http://beachesbeehaven.com
    Aiken Beekeepers Association http://aikenbeekeepers.org

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ThisBud4U View Post
    If anybody has the answer to this question, I'd love to know---are there any types of plants whose pollen (or nectar or both) are toxic to bees? One candidate might be the castor bean plant. Another would be poison ivy or sumac.

    A corollary question would be---if there plants with poisonous pollen, are the bees smart enough to keep away from them?
    I'm reading about that at this very moment, granted the material is a little dated, but I don't think plant species have changed much. From Abbe Warre's Beekeeping for All.

    Here is his list of plants your bee's shouldn't visit.

    Tobacco
    Belladonna
    Henbane
    Hemlock
    Rose Laurel
    Foxglove
    Thornapple
    Monkshood
    Varnish Tree
    Autumn Crocus.

    He states: "These plants are not all harmful to bees, but their alkaloids pass into honey which then becomes dangerous".

    Abbe Warre did his beekeeping in France, so I'm not sure if all these are indigenous to the US.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary View Post
    Yes there are plants with toxic pollens and nectars. Yellow (Carolina) Jasmine is toxic to the bees, and Azealas make honey toxic to humans.

    -Nathanael
    I might add that I have both plants around my area, but the bees have found better things to go to... so far
    Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary http://beachesbeehaven.com
    Aiken Beekeepers Association http://aikenbeekeepers.org

  5. #5
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Smile toxic pollen?

    In California,
    Buck eye, not the one in Ohio,--it causes major deformities in the brood
    Loco weed--depending on the species.
    Poison oak honey is clear and has good flavor.
    Sumac. Check it out with some locals.

    Regards.
    Ernie

  6. #6
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    Hessmer, LA 71341
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    26

    Default pollen plants

    I understand that Brugmansia produces toxic pollen and nectar.

  7. #7
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    Oxford, Kansas
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    sumac poison ivy

    [quote=ThisBud4U;286595]If anybody has the answer to this question, I'd love to know---are there any types of plants whose pollen (or nectar or both) are toxic to bees? One candidate might be the castor bean plant. Another would be poison ivy or sumac.
    quote]

    Poison Ivy and Sumac makes a good dark honey.

  8. #8
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Here is his list of plants your bee's shouldn't visit...

    I lecture mine every morning to stay away from those. They listen really well and then they do what they want anyway...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
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    Macon, GA USA
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    Default

    If azalea honey is poisonous and bees foraged on it, I would have long been dead along with the bulk of the population in the southeast.

    Fortunately while bumblebees love it, I've never seen a honeybee touch it.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    Loganville, GA
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    Default

    I may be wrong but (Mountain) Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is the one that is questionable, often confused with Azalea.

    An ole beek back home in the Carolina mountains that I would hang out with and try to learn from, always pulled his honey after the Laurel bloom and set it back for feed. He always claimed it was bitter and poison. I never tasted it personally.

    I know we have a bunch of beeks up in the hills that may be able to back that up?
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

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