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Abstract

Toxicity tests showed that the nectar of the yellow kowhai (Sophora microphylla Ait.) frequently has a narcotic effect on honey bees. Only adult bees are affected. Mortality of narcotised bees may occur, especially if they are exposed to the low temperatures common in the spring. Extracts of S. microphylla seeds are toxic to mice. Narcosis and mortality, resembling that caused by the nectar, result if bees are dosed extracts of seeds and wood. Narcosis and mortality of bees appear due to the alkaloids of S. microphylla reaching the nectaries.

Beekeepers should consider resiting apiaries if severe mortality due to kowhai poisoning occurs.

 

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did you catch the trees for bees on 3news?

nice to see but i nearly choked when they mentioned planting kowhai :eek:

 

Pity they did not mention tree lucerne which is crawling with bees today and has been in flower since may and should go on into october. Only issue here is to keep it cut low for a couple of years until roots established as they can blow over easily. Bees gather both nectar and pollen, which is yellow.

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got a few hebes flowering, they have been all winter, impressive, and the bees like em... gotta plant zillions more

 

With the advent of varroa, wouldn't it be better not to have winter flowering so they can be broodless for treatment?

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thats what I semi hoped for, but I think its just been too mild here for that to happen this year (last year we had a lot of about -10 degree frosts, this year maybe a couple of weeks of frosts just below freezing). So I guess better to have SOME pollen out there for the bees, yes? Lots of gorse here as well

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