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Toxic Honey from Toxic Plants

 
Benton Lewis
Posts: 107
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Studied common toxic plants recently and found that even honey made from azaleas can cause people to become sick (mad honey?). Then I thought of all the water hemlock in the ditches around my area. Could people get hurt from honey made from water hemlock? Bee pollen made from water hemlock seems worse. Maybe bees stay away from water hemlock? What about the risk of honey and bee pollen in regards to inclusion of parts of toxic plants?
 
Joylynn Hardesty
Posts: 140
Location: Officially Zone 7a, nearer 6b, SW Tennessee
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Water hemlock and queen anne's lace have the same type of flower structure. I grew a bunch of queen anne's lace for my babies (yes, honey bees). While I saw numerous other pollinators on those umbels, I searched in vain for my girls among them. I have since read that the pollen is inferior, and they will harvest elsewhere if available. I suspect water hemlock would have similar lack of quality.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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I wouldn't worry about it.
 
Tracy Kuykendall
Posts: 165
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I read that honey made from oleander could be as toxic as the plant itself, but I've never heard or read reports from anyone being poisoned. If it was a concern, I would monitor the nectar source in question to see if were being utilized by the bees and how often.
 
Jean-Jacques Maury
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How many honey bees have you counted on your azeleas? If it's honey - I eat it!
 
Dan Boone
gardener
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a) ~39" rain/year
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See http://www.permies.com/t/39363/bees/Hallucinogenic-Mad-Honey-Turkish-Rhododendrons

The impression I have is that you need a honkin' huge monoculture of anything toxic before the honey suffers.
 
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