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are poppies a good bee flower?

 
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Location: nacogdoches,texas
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Do the opium poppy flower varieties provide a good source of nectar for honey bees?Do they have a long blooming time?
 
pollinator
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john muckleroy jr wrote:Do the opium poppy flower varieties provide a good source of nectar for honey bees?Do they have a long blooming time?



Some quick googling : terms : bee keeping popopies  (  https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&oq=bee+keeping+popopies )

https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/Bees-poppies.html

Apparently it's the pollen rather than the nectar.

Now that you know, it might not be the best idea to move forward with that plan in any American Jurisdiction.
https://www.inverse.com/article/19218-opium-poppies-legal-drugs-heroin


I'm not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.  


 
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Your best bet for helping out bees is planting natives.    Natives help to support honeybee hives and all of the other many pollinating insects.  

Opium poppies are like all poppies, they bloom for a few weeks to maybe a month.

Be cautious about kids, dogs, goats, cows, deer, grazing animals eating opium poppies, it's not a good idea.


Here's some info on opium poppies and their legality.  They also contain other substances that you may not want to introduce to your insect population.

ALL Papaver somniferum Poppies (AKA: BreadSeed Poppy, P. Paeoniflorum) & it’s Parent; P. Setigerum, Contain Morphine, Codeine, Thebaine, and other Alkaloids that Pharmaceuticals are made from, and are the same Poppies the Afghans use to create the World’s worst poison of all; Heroin

It’s perfectly LEGAL to Grow Papaver Somniferum Poppies for Aesthetic and/or Culinary purposes.
It’s NOT Legal to Grow Opium Poppies for the sake of Harvesting the ‘Opium’ or via ‘Poppy Straw’ method.

(The term ‘Poppy Straw’ originates from a mechanized method of processing the whole poppy plant, rather than the Lancing of their Individual Pods, thus decreasing the high cost of human labor)
 
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Our most popular plant for bees is the native Sotol.  They are flowering now and absolutely swarming with bees.
IMG_3300.jpeg
Sotol
Sotol
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Sotol
Sotol
 
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Reminds me of the pig weed I had last year. Must have been 1,000 honey bees all over the patch.

Nectar only provides carbohydrates. Bees still need pollen for the protein and readily available water source (yes honey bees do need clean water too).

I am growing Borage for the nectar. Bees can get the pollen from the food plants and flowers in my garden.
For water I just put a little rock on the lid for my ollas as a landing pad for them to get a drink.

One stop shopping once they discover it.

I was told bees are a bit funny.
Once they find a flower they seldom go elsewhere for their nourishment.

Tap water is NOT recommended for either plants or the honeybees.



 
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Our bees love them, a plant flowers for 1-2 months before giving up, they are totally legal to grow here after all they are the ones for poppy seeds and we love our poppy seeds!
 
Kai Walker
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Our bees love them, a plant flowers for 1-2 months before giving up, they are totally legal to grow here after all they are the ones for poppy seeds and we love our poppy seeds!



At my house we have California Poppies. At the garden none yet....
 
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Poppies have a very short bloom.  Basically, they are only good for about 10 days or so before they drop their petals.

But as one plant among many, they're a part of the bigger picture.
 
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I know that people grow them for bees here and highly recommend it. I won't grow them because I'm afraid of getting robbed (it does happen out here). Borage is a good suggestion, as already mentioned, as are so many other flowers. And if you have space, I recommend trees like edible chestnut, littleleaf linden, and sorrel (sourwood) tree.
 
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A reminder, discussion of drugs is not permitted on the main forums.  

For those of you living in the USA and have an interest in poppies, I recommend Michael Pollens Poppy Essay which explains the situation accurately.  It's also an amusing read.

You are welcome to start a new topic about bees and poppies in general, so long as it avoids the opium connection.  
 
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