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Apr 17, 2015 1:18 PM CST
|@dave you talked about planting rhododendrons and azaleas near your bee hives. From what I understand the nectar is poisonous and can make poisonous honey. Even though you have to have a lot of rhododendrons and azaleas to make poisonous honey. I don't know if you would want to risk it. P.S love the podcast I listen to everyone.|
Apr 17, 2015 3:00 PM CST
|Hi Heath, thanks for the listening and for sharing your concern about azaleas and bees. I did a bit of research and from what I can see it seems that only the Rhododendron ponticum and Rhododendron luteum are a problem with toxic nectar. Nevertheless, you've made me rethink things for sure!! Maybe we won't grow azaleas or if we do it'll be in a different place, not near the hives.|
Apr 30, 2015 10:10 AM CST
|I wouldn't worry at all about the azaleas anywhere. First of all, bees can fly several miles, so anywhere near the house would be fair game to them. But honeybees don't seem to visit azalea flowers. Even if they did, the Rhododendron genus plants in the US aren't toxic (except some in the Pacific NW and of course mountain laurel). Also, since the bees aren't adapted to the toxin, they'd be more likely to die themselves before they successfully made honey out of the nectar.
I have two hives in the N. Georgia mountains that are surrounded by mountain laurel, and never have gotten bad honey. I've also never seen a honeybee on the mountain laurel flower at all.
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