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Author Topic: Leafy Spurge. (Euphorbia esula)  (Read 1031 times)

Offline OPAVP

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Leafy Spurge. (Euphorbia esula)
« on: March 21, 2011, 09:48:36 AM »
Good day,

 Do you guys have experience with bees on Leafy spurge?

I know it is a very invasive weed. Some say it yields very well,both quality and quantity.
 There is lots of it in Montana and here in Alberta too.
Let me know what you know.
 Cor Van Pelt.

Offline Cascadebee

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Re: Leafy Spurge. (Euphorbia esula)
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 02:22:59 PM »
I know the weed all too well, but from the perspective of trying to get rid of it biologically. I used to live in MT.  We don't have much of it here in WA.  It does make acceptable pollen and it flowers for a long time, but I understand the honey is bitter. Not surprising because the plant contains a nasty latex that is loaded with defensive compounds that can sicken livestock.   

Offline MTWIBadger

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Re: Leafy Spurge. (Euphorbia esula)
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 06:34:44 PM »
I tasted some Leafy Spurge honey from eastern Montana several years and still can't get the after taste out of my mouth.  It would be difficult honey to sell in my opinion.

Offline Cascadebee

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Re: Leafy Spurge. (Euphorbia esula)
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 12:54:38 PM »
Badger thanks for the first hand account, I was wondering too.

It is one nasty plant, and it is pretty sad to see the vast destruction of grass and rangelands it has brought to the Great Basin. It is essentially a spurge monoculture in many places that were previously very productive grassland.  Pretty much blankets the entire western Dakotas/ E. MT. We did have quite a bit of success controlling it over the long term using flea beetles that thrive on the weed.

Weeds and beekeepers have an interesting relationship.  Sometimes mutualistic, sometimes not. The mutualistic relationships usually conflict with societal desires.  For example, in the Cascades Himalayan blackberry is relied upon by beeks and it makes good honey.  It also makes impenetrable thickets that will leave you looking like you had been tossed into a barrel of cats when trying to get to that good fishing hole. 

In the past, knapweed seeds have been spread from airplanes by CA beeks.  We now spend millions of tax dollars trying to manage it.

Offline greenbtree

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Re: Leafy Spurge. (Euphorbia esula)
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 05:09:13 PM »
Yes, sometimes we need to step back and say "Is this such a good idea?".  I am trying to sprout Beebee (Evodia) tree seeds,  the first thing I did before ordering them was to check to see if they were invasive.  Here in Iowa we are fighting garlic mustard and Russian olive.

JC
"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"