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Author Topic: Safe Bee Plant?  (Read 3667 times)

Offline qa33010

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Safe Bee Plant?
« on: April 10, 2008, 01:07:53 AM »
    I was in a large chain store in one of the surrounding larger towns looking at plants for the yard.  I've decided to get some Knockout Roses since I've seen honey bees swamp these plants.  I'm going to experiment with heather and see if I can get it to thrive here with the heat.  

    Anyway I smelled it first and then tracked it to a plant called Pieris Japonica that was covered in honey bees.  I did a search on it and my zone is good but I was hesitant about this...
    
     Andromeda, also known as Lily of the Valley shrub and Pieris, is one of the loveliest of the broadleaf evergreen shrubs. A relative of the rhododendron family...
    
      If I remember right rhododendrons are BAD!  Is that all in this family or only specific ones?  I don't have books available where I'm at and I'm not going to wake the family to get them down (I'm typing this as quiet as possible).    Can any one(s) guide me in this?  Thanks a bunch!

   The smell is what my son calls a honey plant smell. ;)
Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)

Offline abejaruco

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 01:48:56 AM »
I have been buying rhododendrons´ honey when crossing thePirineos, traveling to the Alps. I was speaking with the beekeeper about the rhodo..., and yes, there are non toxic varieties.

Offline reinbeau

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 07:36:57 AM »
Don't worry about the pieris, it's fine, and the bees do love it!  It doesn't bloom for long, but it's in full bloom right now, a great source of nectar for the girls.

- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Offline qa33010

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 01:27:35 AM »
    Too cool!  Thanks!  I need to get about five plants at least.
Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)

Offline Cindi

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 11:19:58 AM »
I bought a lily of the valley shrub yesterday when I was at my local nursery.  It is pretty much on the last legs of blooming, but it will make a beautiful shrub for next year, as beekeepers, I know that we are always looking at the big picture.  I bought a couple of other bee shrubs too.  Have a great, wonderful day, Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline Keith13

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2008, 12:01:12 PM »
For you Heathers mexican heather is grown in Louisiana and the bees are all over it throughtout the summer very long blooming season it will probaly grow in Beebe Arkansas as well as long as it doesn't get to cold <15 it will come back every year

Offline doak

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2008, 10:46:04 PM »
I am going to let the bees do the wild things, then my garden and for July and August the buck wheat gets the nod.
What comes in the fall after that is for the bees.
We have plenty asters and golden rodgers here at that time.
don't mind the spelling, I some time do that for kicks. :)doak

Offline Vetch

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 07:22:42 AM »
For you Heathers mexican heather is grown in Louisiana and the bees are all over it throughtout the summer very long blooming season it will probaly grow in Beebe Arkansas as well as long as it doesn't get to cold <15 it will come back every year

We have Mexican heather down here - it is a nice plant, but nothing like real heather.  Some places in Europe, heather is the dominant plant - covers entire mountains.   

Offline Cindi

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 10:34:32 AM »
I am going to let the bees do the wild things, then my garden and for July and August the buck wheat gets the nod.
What comes in the fall after that is for the bees.
 :)doak

I am thinking that a thread should be started for those that want to plant the best flowers for the honey to be left for the bees, ones that mature after the human harvest of honey.  There must surely be some species of flowers/veggies, etc. that are extremely good for overwintering for bees, some thoughts should be going into this now.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline qa33010

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 01:25:30 PM »
Not a bad idea Cindi!

     Some of the folks around town, that know I have bees, are asking me what plants are pretty AND useful to the honeybees.  I only have a limited knowledge here and am constantly watching and trying to find information in this area of beekeeping.
Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)

Offline SgtMaj

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2008, 11:18:44 PM »
If I remember right rhododendrons are BAD!

Rhodies are bad??  Why?

Offline Keith13

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 09:03:24 AM »
If I remember right rhododendrons are BAD!

Rhodies are bad??  Why?

I believe the honey that is produced is toxic to humans

Offline SgtMaj

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 10:07:42 AM »
Did not know that... good to know... they are so good at attracting bees, too... guess I can't use 'em in my lineup though...  :'(

Offline Cindi

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 10:33:18 AM »
I am not too sure about that in my locale.  I have many rhododendron bushes.  The bees don't touch them, but the bumbleebees do!!!  They love them.  I think that maybe when the rhodos are in bloom, there are other things the bees are more interested in.  Yes, I have heard that rhodos are toxic as far as the honey goes.  But then, the rhodos bloom for such a short period of time, I am not too sure how much rhodo nectar would be in the honey anyways, unless one lives in a rhodo farm/field.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, this is a life to live and love. Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline qa33010

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 03:25:58 PM »
   Okay, I am easily confused...are Rhodies all bad or are there some that are okay? 
Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)

Offline reinbeau

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 08:11:11 PM »
This is a perennial question over 'poisonous' honey and rhododendrons.  There is one specific rhododendron, I believe it is R. ponticum, that produces nectar that will be processed into honey that has psychotropic properties.  It makes you crazy (high) but also gives you a really bad stomach ache.   There are stories all over the internet about poisonous honey and people dying, it just isn't true.  First off, the bees don't really care for rhododendrons, for whatever reason, you'll see far more bumblebees on them than honeybees.  If they do visit the rhodies, it's early in the season, the honey they may make will be used up by the hive before the honey we want to harvest.  Don't worry about a few plants nearby, as I have said many times on this forum, we're surrounded by a rhododendron collection of almost eight acres, and we have had no problem with our honey whatsoever.

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Offline SgtMaj

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2008, 10:25:25 PM »
Good point, come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen a honey bee on a Rhody, just bumblers... I still like helping out the bumblers though, and hope to replace a small bush at the end of the drive with a little Rhody next year just to help attract more bumblers to the area.

Offline Cindi

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Re: Safe Bee Plant?
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2008, 11:38:28 AM »
qa33010.  I know, I know, I am confused about that one too.  My thoughts, I think that the small amount of nectars (unless you live on a rhodo farm) that come from these plants and the short blooming time, that the amount of "toxic" nectar would be so miniscule that one would not have to worry.  I am still confused though, hee, hee.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, love our wonderful lives, and live them like there was not tomorrow...remember to stop and smell the roses/coffee, we need time to ourselves too.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

 

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