Another concern from the Newbie . . . California Buckeye

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by J.E.Johnson, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. J.E.Johnson

    J.E.Johnson New Member

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    I'm wondering if any beekeepers out there know about the California Buckeye tree and the toxicity of its flowers to honeybees. I have a buckeye in my yard and I'm concerned with what effect it will have on my bees once I establish a swarm in my hive.
    No, I can't cut it down (1. I won it in an art contest in third grade, and it has been with me ever since and 2. The idea of cutting down a tree is tantamount to intentionally poisoning a beehive in my book). As you can see, I have a bit of a dilemma. :|
    My self-decided solution so far: clip off the flower stalks in the spring when they first show up. Luckily it doesn't have flowers like fruit trees, but they form in spires. Or, do you think placing the hive further away might discourage the bees if they have other, closer sources for nectar and pollen?
    -Jenna
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I know nothing about the Calif. buckeye, but we have many buckeye trees here and I have never seen a problem with the bees.

    Ohio is known as the buckeye state, and I have never known bees to have a problem with them.

    In Feb., 3/4 of all bees in the US are in Calif. for the almond bloom. I don't think the beeks would be bringing them in if the buckeye tree was going to kill them.

    Mostly, tho, I think bees know best, and don't often commit suicide.
     

  3. J.E.Johnson

    J.E.Johnson New Member

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    I found a site that has more information. I don't think the Ohio buckeyes are toxic, but the California ones are. If the pollen is taken back to the hive and fed to the larvae, it makes them develop without wings and it can linger in a hive long after they stop collecting it. If the trees are 3-5 miles away, you should be safe, but mine is right in the middle of the yard. Well, looks like I'm going to be investing in one of those long reach pruning clippers . . .
    -Jenna
     
  4. jimmylang

    jimmylang New Member

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    maybe you could just cut it down and put something there that would actually be useful to the bees.
     
  5. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Jenna:
    Where did you find your information pertaining to the California buckeye?
     
  6. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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  7. Adam Foster Collins

    Adam Foster Collins New Member

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    Oak is poisonous to them too, supposedly - but it doesn't seem to be a problem, and it's everywhere here.

    Rododendron produces a poisonous honey. It's everywhere here. The bees don't touch it.

    Maybe they won't pay any attention to that buckeye...

    Adam
     
  8. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I'm with iddee on this, i have Buckeye trees close that the bees work and the Jimsonweed (every part of it is poison) the bees work it hard in the evening and i've not had a problem. Like iddee said, the bees know best. :thumbsup: Jack
     
  9. J.E.Johnson

    J.E.Johnson New Member

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    Thanks guys. This has been quite a dilemma for me :(. I can't cut down the tree. But it is very slow growing (I've had it for more than 20 years) and is maybe only 12-15 at its tallest right now and is actually kind of growing on its side (was planted under other trees and grew towards the sun). It shouldn't be too hard for me to cut off the flower spikes before they bloom. I'll be sure to ask the local beekeepers about it though.
    -Jenna
    Here's the link to the information I read yesterday: http://www.pacificcrestapiaries.com/
    But I've also read the info on Zulu's post as well.
     
  10. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    I looked into this when I started beekeeping, and it is the Eastern Europe / Asian Rododendron or Rododendron ponticum that is poisonous. Those are not the typical Rododendron grown on Atlantic side of USA.

    Maybe a specialist grower or club member might have them but not typical in wild or most Gardens.