Re: Frosting as feed?
Blanket statements like this one lead to trouble!
Originally Posted by T152
Powdered sugar generally contains small amounts of corn starch, used to prevent caking of the sugar. Bees may have trouble digesting corn starch. While incidental amounts used in "sugar rolls" (the beekeeping treatment kind, not the human food kind) may not be a problem, feeding larger quanties in commercial icing as bee feed could produce unhappy results.
Several native California plants have pollen or nectar that is poisonous to honeybees, which are nonnative. These include the corn lilies, death camas and the locoweeds. But those wildland species wouldn't be a major risk for urban or suburban bees. More of a problem is the California buckeye (Aesculus californica). Widely distributed west of the Sierra, this tree is often planted as an ornamental for its good looks, fragrant flowers and bold winter branch architecture.
Native pollinators like the California sister butterfly are immune to whatever toxins California buckeye flowers have that affect honeybees. Photo: Ron Sullivan / SF
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