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Bees and Camellias?

Posted by lclear 7b/Virginia (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 16, 05 at 14:05

I heard that honey bees frequent camellias, but wondered if camellias were harmful to honeybees, like azaleas are. Does anyone know?

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RE: Bees and Camellias?

Camellias are not harmful to honeybees, neither are azaleas.

Azaleas, rhododendrons and other plants from the family Ericaceae produce a toxin called Grayantoxin. It can be found in honey made from the nectar of these plants and can cause a very rear poisonous reaction.
Although poisonous to humans, it is harmless to honeybees. Such poisonous honey is very rare as the shape of the Azaleas flower makes access to the nectar difficult for honeybees. Also, during the time of Azalea and Rhododendron blooms there are almost always other flowers blooming that are more appealing to honeybees and they generally wont visit the Azaleas and rhododendrons for that reason.

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