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Bcrazy 

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Now the daffodils are beginning to bloom just have a quick peep and see all that lovely pollen on the anthers waiting to bee collected and taken back to the hive.

Hey, my bees must be fussy 'bees' as they are completely ignoring them in favour of the aconites, snowdrops and Kilmarnock willow catkins.

Why do you think this is happening?

Do your bees ignore the daffs?

There is a reason behind everything the bees do, so do you know why the bees do not use the daffs for collecting pollen?

I know and I'll let you all know in a few days time, that is if no one comes up with the answer.

Regards;
 

Poly Hive 

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Daffs are no use to bees.

I checked my hives today and NO pollen is evident. So much for the theory that there is always abundant pollen available in England. Pah.

PH
 

Heather 

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Get those crocus planted. :party:
Throw 1000 down under turf (chicken wire between bulb and returned turf keeps squirrels at bay). Next year you will have loads of early pollen - if the weather is fit to let the bees at them!! And if you plant blue then the birds wont trash them - they seem to love yellow. and the bees love all crocus pollen.
 
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Now the daffodils are beginning to bloom just have a quick peep and see all that lovely pollen on the anthers waiting to bee collected and taken back to the hive.

Hey, my bees must be fussy 'bees' as they are completely ignoring them in favour of the aconites, snowdrops and Kilmarnock willow catkins.

Why do you think this is happening?

Do your bees ignore the daffs?

There is a reason behind everything the bees do, so do you know why the bees do not use the daffs for collecting pollen?

I know and I'll let you all know in a few days time, that is if no one comes up with the answer.

Regards;
Daffodils are poisonous and causes paralysis of the central nervous system, would this be the reason why bees ignore them?

Frisbee
 

Polyanwood 

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Does that explain why is seems those that eat them on St David's day immediately regret it!
 

Bcrazy 

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Congratulations Frisbee, absolutly spot on. Well done.


Daffodils are toxic.
However, I have seen bees working the Jimpson weed with no apparent effects.
This may help:
http://www.herbdatanz.com/narcissus_..._monograph.htm

1. USD 1926 Part 2.
Narcissus. Narcissus Pseudo-narcissus L. Daffodil. Trumpet Daffodil. Narcisse des pres, Porillon, Fr. Gelbe Narcisse, G. (Fam. Amaryllidaceae.)

Both the bulb and the flowers of this common and widely cultivated popular European garden plant have been used in medicine. The bulb is tunicated and averages one and one-half to two inches in diameter. The flowers are about two inches long, pale yellow, the corona crenate to somewhat crenate-fimbriate, the six stamens inserted near the base of the perianth and much shorter than the corona. The flowers have a feeble peculiar odor, and both have a bitter mucilaginous taste. They are an uncertain emetic. It is probable that the flowers of the wild European plant are more powerful than those of the cultivated. Gerrard found in 1877 in these bulbs a crystalline neutral principle and an alkaloid narcissine (pseudonarcissine). This base, which occurs in a number of the Amaryllidaceae, has been shown by Asahina and Sugii (A. Pharm., 1913, ccli, 357) to be identical with lycorine, C18H17O4N, found by Morishima (A. E. P. P., 1897, xl). It crystallizes in colorless prisms with a melting point of 270? C. According to Kuiger, the alkaloid obtained by Gerrard from the bulb of the flowering plant dries the mouth, checks perspiration, dilates the pupil, especially when applied locally, quickens the pulse, and acts on the heart of the frog antagonistically to muscarine and pilocarpine, while the alkaloid taken from the bulb after flowering causes salivation and perspiration, internally taken contracts the pupil, and topically applied dilates it slightly. (J. P., i, 436.) In France, narcissus flowers have been used as an antispasmodic
Regards,
Ernie
Lucas Apiaries

So now we know.

Regards;
 
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Congratulations Frisbee, absolutly spot on. Well done.
Daffodils are toxic.
Thanks :)

But what about Ragwort?

Ragworth is horrendously toxic to livestock but I think the bees work that don't they? I remember reading about the "bitterness" of Ragwort honey.

Why the difference?

Frisbee
 
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Thanks Bcrazy. . . . . that says that bees work Ragwort but the honey is unuseable and unmixable, but it doesn't answer my question. Why the difference? Why will bees work Ragwort but not Daffodils?
Are daffodils more poisonous - poisonous to all creatures whereas Ragwort may only be poisonous to certain species?
What about Buttercup?

Frisbee
 

Heather 

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All I know - if you arrange daffodils with other flowers then all will suffer :svengo:
p.s. this little bee was covered in pollen when photographed in my garden, and yes, I do have a few thousand crocus...
 

MJBee 

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I have a lot of spring crocus which the bees enjoy but has anyone got the autumn flowering variety?
There is a house (sadly out of range of my bees) that has a fantastic display they are all yellow but the birds do not bother with them. I strikes me that it would be a good idea to get pollen into the hive in the autumn and therefore have it on tap as it were for the spring.
Comments please on this theory and does anyone have the names of any varieties?
Regards Mike
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi Mike,

With regards to getting pollen into the hive during the autumn, hopefully this is done by the summer bees, and to a certain extent the winter bees with late flowering flora.

In the spring inspection don't be surprised if you find mouldy pollen in a few cells, this is due to the humidity during the winter cluster, dropping and not being keep dry. Normally the bees will clear the cells ready for new pollen being bought back to the hive.

If we (the beekeeper) stocked up the hive in winter the pollen would only go to waste as the brood rearing is curtailed considerably, almost down to zero (depends on the make-up of the bee), so pollen is not required to the same level as during the summer.

Substitute pollen and pollen patties are used in the early spring to help the colony with early pollen requirements.

Re varieties ask Heather as she has "a thousand" of crocus.

Regards;
 

Heather 

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Oh I think they are the bog standard Crocus Tommasinianus , Bcrazy - they spread like mad- :) therefore- ' a few thousand '
 

MJBee 

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Thanks both,
Not a lot of point getting the hive packed with autumn pollen then, but I'm still on the lookout for Autumn crocus cos they look smashing when everything else in the garden is finished.
Will also be looking for "tomasinianus" as mine are being scoffed by the mice and only just holding their own.
Regards Mike

PS Autumn Crocus varieties:- kotscbyanus, laevigatus, flowering Sept/Oct
 
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Hi Folks
My bees have had the most amazing time over the last few weeks. Their hives are surrounded by large bulb plantings. They just dropped out of the hives onto a bed of acconites and snowdrops. They were taking in large amounts of pollen. They seemed to favour acconites to snowdrops. They early plants have finished and they are now surrounded by crocus. One again large pollen colection from close to the hives. As the crocus are now finishing the bees are going furhter afield. They do avaoid the daffs.
At the weekend I was doing some hive maintenance and noted that large amounts of the recent pollen was almost pure white in colour. Does anyone have any ideas of the soure of this.
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi Brian

Near white pollen this time of year would indicate to me to come from Hazel - Corylus or Alder - Alnus.

Hope that helps

Bcrazy;
 

victor meldrew 

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I have a large Alder which produces seed bearing cones annually, I have never seen it worked by bees ?, maybe it's a female tree ? anyone know ? save me from doing a google search :).
John
 

Busy Bee 

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I don't know about you chaps but my bees were laden with pollen this morning and has been building up steadily for around 2 weeks, working very hard all morning.
Yellow pollen, orange pollen and brownish pollen. Don't know what plants but I suspect brownish pollen comes Gorse, others I don't know. They worked Flame of the Forest and gorse all week and the pollen was a creamy colour.

Other than that I don't really know.


Busy Bee
 
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gavin 

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Hi Brian

Near white pollen this time of year would indicate to me to come from Hazel - Corylus or Alder - Alnus.

Hope that helps

Bcrazy;
Hi Bcrazy

Do you happen to know the colour of elm pollen? I've started our airborne pollen counts for the season (at work we run one of the UK pollen monitoring sites) and although there is hazel, alder and yew pollen in the air it is often the elm pollen that seems most abundant at the moment.

best wishes

Gavin
 

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