Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
And IF they do, will it effect the character of the honey?

I have a close friend who is a pastor of a church in a remote village in high sierras of northern Mexico. Many of the women in his congregation are (young) widows (with kids) whose husbands used to work for narcotraficantes in the vast opium and marijuana fields hidden in the canyons. They are widows because it is easy to end up on the wrong side of a gun in the dope business.To see the need of these Indian women and their kids would break your heart. ANY source of income would be an improvement in their situations.

There is a carpenter in the village who has the skills to make all the woodenware we use here in the States for beekeeping, and there is enough waste pinewood from the local sawmill available for free. That's the one source of jobs in 40 miles -- other than drugrunning, and the sawmill only runs when they can snake big pine logs off the mountainside, about 6 months out of the year. Would there be any reason to NOT use green-cut pine for woodenware?

Some of us here in the States that know what these folks are up against have been brainstorming about how to start teaching beekeeping to the widows, but people keep asking if the bees would work the opium poppies, and thus effect the honey. I have no idea about how to get a straight and dependable answer to that question. I read the earlier string from March 2004 about bees and marijuana. Where else could somebody ask such a question other than Beesource.com?

Elevation of this village is about 6500 ft, and the terrain and plant mix looks a lot like the mountains of New Mexico, just several hundred miles further south. Outside of the poppies and ganja, there isn't any agriculture to speak of other than sideyard cornfields (milpas) In my trips there, I haven't seen ANY visible signs of beekeeping, nor any local honey on the shelves of the tiny ma & pa stores.

Michael et als. -- anybody have any idea about how honeybees near opium would turn out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
Here in Germany we have a bakery product which is very heavy with poppy seeds. A high ranking person in my organization (Military Police) tested positive on a urinalysis.
This individual directly consumed the seeds. Now this did not have a narcotic effect just a carrear ending effect. He would have gone to jail but he took a polygraph and passed.
So as to your question you would probably have to set up a hive within range of the fields and take a sample of honey to a lab to be tested. If it tests negitive for opiates then I would venture a try. Either you will discover a new taste or rule out the venture all together. Poppys are a very unique plant. I don't know a whole lot about thier pollination just the drug part.

------------------
Procrastination is the assination of inspiration.

Gary
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,094 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
My schooling in Horticulture comes in handy here. The nector will not contain opium. The opium is produced to protect the seeds. It is in its strongest concentration in the overy(pod). The sap of the plant has opium in it and it also contains latex so it may be used by the bees for propolis. Why would a plant want to drug/kill the insects that give it the seeds. No plant nectories contain drugs for this reason. BTW cocoa plants while in bloom are good bee plants.

About the green wood, yes there is problems with it. Fresh pine sent is an insect repellent. And green wood warps bad. It only takes about 3 months to let them dry. Just stack the wood with stips of wood between the layers. It does help if the stack is covered. I used some old tin laid on top and held down with concrete blocks. This is easy to do but does take time.

Good luck. If I could afford the trip I would love to go on this mission trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
I do not know about poppy, but I once read that if the bees are working Rhododendrons (Mountain Laurel) that the honey is toxic. The key is just that this honey gets mixed with so much other honey in the extraction process that the toxic levels become very small.

SO it would definitely rate the lab test (and maybe several).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
The rhododendrons are toxic to all but the intended pollenator. Which happens to be in the lightning bug family. Bees that collect it often die before getting back to the hive. So what little does make it into the honey is diluted. Poppies came from where bees are the main pollenator and so developed for bees. Mountain laurel are native to the US and no honey bees so they set out to find and a good pollenator but yet protect its flowers from the flower eaters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
....no, the honey from poppy flowers , (Papaver somniferum)
is free from any "opium", (just as the seed, used videly in baking, does not contain any opium...)....no problem there.....otto
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,264 Posts
Poppies only contain the alkaloids for opium for a short period of time during seed development. So the honey will basically be opium free. That could be a negative or a positive depending upon your marketing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Hello Mark et al, There is an Austrian research project that has developed a method for building hives frome straw. This approach is being used in very poor areas of Nepal, high in the mountains where there is very little wood available. I don't have the internet address at hand but can find it again if you are interested.
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Hillbilly,
Did you mean cocoa as in the theobroma cacao tree from which we get chocolate or did you mean coca plant from which we get cocaine?
I have two "cocoa trees (chocolate) and one began blooming a few weeks ago. They are small and hang upside down like a pawpaw blossom, but actually sprout directly from the trunk of the tree and not from terminal buds.
JG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
As in the Cocaine shrubtree. It's blooms resemble citrus and the bees were all over it. A college buddy had it. He put a small plant in something and sent it to himself. From time to time he would make some cocaine from it. No one knew what kind a plant it was unlike pot which about anyone can look at and tell you what it is. And with my major he thought I would be the person to ask for help with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,247 Posts
I have 3 Theobroma cacao trees and apparently the flowers are pollinated by a small midge in the early morning hours and not bees. Most cacao varieties require cross-pollination and although all three of mine flower I have been too lazy to get up at 5AM to hand pollinate. Hence, no cacao pods at my house as they are indoors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Bees will make honey from poppies. In a Turkish cookbook of mine, it is referred to as Crazy Honey. Take it from there. As far as affordable hives go, you should look into top bar hives. Go to www.tbhsbywam.com . It is by Wyatt A. Mangum, PhD. He has been using top bar hives for a long time and in his book there is a section on making top bar hives out of reed stalks and sunflower stems, with a minimal amount of wood used. It's worth checking out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
I believe it would probably be expensive as the production is quit low as the bees can't find there way back to the hive.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,067 Posts
Welcome to Beesource, Cydfod!



It seems interesting that you chose to revive this 10 year old thread as your initial post. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Greetings, Rader Sidetrack.

I was searching for nectar sources and was curious if poppies were a good source as I've seen fields growing for seed production. This thread just happened to pop up. It wasn't until after I had posted that I saw how old the thread was. It's still an interesting concept of what pure poppy honey would be like.

Bryan
USDA Zone 8b, Elev. 65 ft
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
My schooling in Horticulture comes in handy here. The nector will not contain opium. The opium is produced to protect the seeds. It is in its strongest concentration in the overy(pod). The sap of the plant has opium in it and it also contains latex so it may be used by the bees for propolis. Why would a plant want to drug/kill the insects that give it the seeds. No plant nectories contain drugs for this reason. BTW cocoa plants while in bloom are good bee plants.

About the green wood, yes there is problems with it. Fresh pine sent is an insect repellent. And green wood warps bad. It only takes about 3 months to let them dry. Just stack the wood with stips of wood between the layers. It does help if the stack is covered. I used some old tin laid on top and held down with concrete blocks. This is easy to do but does take time.

Good luck. If I could afford the trip I would love to go on this mission trip.
Late to the game here, but I think you better go back to school.
Opium is contained in all parts of the plant, in different concentrations.

Concepts like "poisons" and "toxins" and such are highly dependent on concentrations.
Ever hear the paraphrase "The dose makes the poison" by Swiss physician and chemist Paracelsus?
What is harmful in large doses can often be beneficial in smaller doses.

Nicotiana (tobacco) plants are another example.
Nicotiana flower pollen does contain Nicotine, but in lesser concentrations than the leaves and other parts of the plants.
But even that pollen Nicotine has been shown to not only not be harmful, but even provide beneficial effects for pollinators.
And I can verify this firsthand, as I grow tons of tobacco plants, and extensively study the habits of pollinators feeding on the pollen of those tobacco plants.
And they love those flowers. Tobacco flowers are often one of their most preferred flowers.

In regards to "Fresh pine sent is an insect repellent.", again be cautious of over-generalization.
Ever hear of the Pine Beetle?
Not everything affects the same insects the same ways.
Whereas the leaves of my tobacco plants are harmful to many insects, whom therefore avoid those leaves, there are certain caterpillars and other insects that prefer those leaves, which have no negative effects on them..

Many polypohenols, terpenes, etc. aka "phytochemicals", are useful as insecticides to certain classes of insects, but not others nor all.

And there is a huge difference between each - heroin, opiates, highly-processed opium, raw natural opium, etc.
Many people use the dried pods & stems of papaver somniferum as an herbal remedy, without the negative consequences of highly-processed or synthetic opiates.

Be cautious of limiting yourself intellectually.
The world is often much more abstract & complex than mere simplicity.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top