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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Wright City, MO 63390

    Default Are Japanese Pieris poisonous to my bees?!?!?!

    Well it is spring time and that mean yard work and honey-do lists... First item on my list was to take the girlfriend to Lowe's so she could buy flowers and shrubs for the front area of our house. I told her she could pick out anything that she wanted but if we saw tons of bees on any one particular plant that we should buy a bunch of them. Long story short, we found these Japanese Pieris and there were 5-10 bees on EACH plant. They were in maybe 2 quart containers and only about 10" tall. They are full of little bell shaped flowers, maybe 200 per plant. They are evergreen bushes that bloom in the spring and get 9'x5' on average. So I bought all they had at $3.00 each. We needed something like that for a hedge we were planning anyway. We get home plant them all along our driveway and all is good.

    Then... I read an article that says the nectar is poisonous to bees and if the nectar doesn't kill them that the honey will be poisonous to humans. Does anyone have any experience with these plants? They are really nice looking and will be perfect for the hedge that we want. But I will rip them out in a heartbeat if it will harm my bees. I just cant imagine that if they were poisonous that the bees would even go to them in the first place.

    Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Norfolk County, MA, USA

    Default Re: Are Japanese Pieris poisonous to my bees?!?!?!

    Googled it ... heres what I got from one site

    Honey made from the plants has been reported to cause cardiac arrhythmias, emesis, mild paralysis and convulsions in humans and is known as “mad honey”.

    I'd get rid of them quick
    Last edited by Spark; 04-03-2012 at 05:30 PM. Reason: spelling
    Think about it....Buy American

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA

    Default Re: Are Japanese Pieris poisonous to my bees?!?!?!

    YIKES!!! According to Univ. of Pennsylvania, the nectar's toxic/lethal at 0.3ml/kg??? medical dosages are generally (or at least WERE generally when I was employed in that field) based on a 75kg adult; which makes an "average" toxic dose 22.5ml or just over 1.5TBsp of NECTAR! Assuming 5:1 concentration on the low side, that's under a TEASPOON of honey! I don't think I'd need any more convincing to get rid of those things!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    seattle, washington

    Default Re: Are Japanese Pieris poisonous to my bees?!?!?!

    I have some serious doubts about the validity of honey being toxic. Since bees go anywhere they want it would only be logical that they collect nectar from these shrubs. You might not have any but your neighbors could. So there is no way to prevent the bees from collecting nectar from them. So either it is simply not true or one other possibilty is it is toxic but the bees prefer to collect nectar from a source with a much higher nectar flow than the pieris has. I just think that if there was a risk to honey especially in areas where these plants are popular there would be more caution in the local comunity and awarenes. With that all being said I am trying to get a hold of the Dept of Agucultre and see what they know.


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