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Can you identify Tutu if you see it?  

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  1. 1. Can you identify Tutu if you see it?



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Goodness! Glad I saw was having a stalk through the forum :whistle:. I noticed a plant up one of our races yesterday with that distinct droopy flower cluster!! (Runs off with clippers and shovel :oops:)

 

Don't panic about it. It's only a menace in late summer when the passion vine hoppers feed on the sap & bees gather their excrete. And just because you've removed one doesn't mean your bees won't find a hundred others if it's a long hot dry summer. And where you are you should not be harvesting honey for consumption after about the second week of January anyway

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Don't panic about it. It's only a menace in late summer when the passion vine hoppers feed on the sap & bees gather their excrete. And just because you've removed one doesn't mean your bees won't find a hundred others if it's a long hot dry summer. And where you are you should not be harvesting honey for consumption after about the second week of January anyway

 

Hmm..so if I start my TBH in the next few weeks I'm unlikely to have that much to harvest anyway yes? They'll be making comb etc. So from early/mid Jan no collecting - got it. But when do I start collecting again? We have kiwifruit and avos around us..the hoppers get a good spraying (eekk hate sprays!!) Total novice here!!

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I wouldn't think you'll get anything to harvest over a couple of spoonfulls to satisfy your curiosity. Bees store honey to feed themselves over the following winter/spring. Their needs come first. Someone up your way will be able to tell you how many frames of honey your bees will need. You could harvest any honey they store before January, but they will probably be feeding brood flat out & won't put away much.

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So from early/mid Jan no collecting - got it. But when do I start collecting again?

Someone will correct me if the Regulations have changed, but the exemption (from testing) is for honey harvested between 1st of July to 31st of December. Any honey harvested outside that period ought to be tested.

 

You have a higher risk because with a top-bar you are taking comb honey in small amounts. With a top-bar I would mark the bars that have comb that have not been drawn and filled during that period and reserve them for the bee's use only. The idea would be to get any honey on a marked bar consumed by the bees, not by people. You could alternative mark or date the bars that you can eat, that might be more fun. I don't think we know how long it takes for the toxin to decay, so we have to assume it can be poisonous if held over to following seasons.

 

It takes a particular set of circumstances to create the risk, but the legislation is always the same regardless.

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Someone will correct me if the Regulations have changed, but the exemption (from testing) is for honey harvested between 1st of July to 31st of December. Any honey harvested outside that period ought to be tested.

 

You have a higher risk because with a top-bar you are taking comb honey in small amounts. With a top-bar I would mark the bars that have comb that have not been drawn and filled during that period and reserve them for the bee's use only. The idea would be to get any honey on a marked bar consumed by the bees, not by people. You could alternative mark or date the bars that you can eat, that might be more fun. I don't think we know how long it takes for the toxin to decay, so we have to assume it can be poisonous if held over to following seasons.

 

It takes a particular set of circumstances to create the risk, but the legislation is always the same regardless.

 

Awesome thanks! great advice to mark the bars..I'll def do that.

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... mark the bars...

So what I was thinking was for example, it would be fun to write the date on each bar as the bees start to use it (even, maybe, the 'finish date too). Not only can you manage your Tutin risk, but you will be able to learn something about the way a hive expands, Just an idea.

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I have just joined this forum and also the amazing world of beekeeping. Several people have warned me about 'toot' poisoned honey, and I had no idea what this plant looked like which really surprised me as I know most of my trees. ( well, I thought I did) Thank you for all these photos and images, and also the information that it is the little 'flickers' as we called them as kids are the issue. I was told the other day that you can't harvest honey after December due to the toot issue???? Is this correct??? Or is it a geographical call?? Your advise welcomed here please. I am in the Thames /Coromandel area.

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Just been reading more about tutu, tutin toxin and the Industry unification project. More admin and costs onto beekeepers. If we look at the subject of tutin toxin and toxic product, the base problem is the plant when growing in urban and rural farming regions. OK it's a native plant/shrub so the plant may be a 'holy cow' but...... frankly it's a poisonous plant and should be classified as noxious. It is far easier to identify the plant than a few honey comb cells of contaminated honey or a contaminated sample taken from a honey tank or drum. If contaminated honey is a food safety issue and can affect local or international trading of NZ honey then the source of the problem should be attacked. The plant is the source, not the passion vine hopper (it can survive on other plants), not the bee, nor the beekeeper. The costs could be shared around the greater agricultural industry by declaring the plant noxious and controlling it just like gorse, blackberry and broom among other noxious species. And councils should be stopped from using it for urban plantings! Or perhaps they could be sued if you find tutin when your honey is tested, at least for recovery of cost and loss of income from the non-sale of contaminated honey. If they plant it they should have public liability insurance to cover tutin toxin problems! If I saw the plant in my bee territory I would destroy it before it flowers.

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Just been reading more about tutu, tutin toxin and the Industry unification project. More admin and costs onto beekeepers. If we look at the subject of tutin toxin and toxic product, the base problem is the plant when growing in urban and rural farming regions. OK it's a native plant/shrub so the plant may be a 'holy cow' but...... frankly it's a poisonous plant and should be classified as noxious. It is far easier to identify the plant than a few honey comb cells of contaminated honey or a contaminated sample taken from a honey tank or drum. If contaminated honey is a food safety issue and can affect local or international trading of NZ honey then the source of the problem should be attacked. The plant is the source, not the passion vine hopper (it can survive on other plants), not the bee, nor the beekeeper. The costs could be shared around the greater agricultural industry by declaring the plant noxious and controlling it just like gorse, blackberry and broom among other noxious species. And councils should be stopped from using it for urban plantings! Or perhaps they could be sued if you find tutin when your honey is tested, at least for recovery of cost and loss of income from the non-sale of contaminated honey. If they plant it they should have public liability insurance to cover tutin toxin problems! If I saw the plant in my bee territory I would destroy it before it flowers.

 

disagree with most of your thinking here. If you destroy tutu on land you don't own I hope you get what is coming to you. By your logic, we'd have to destroy many native plants as they are a potential poison source e.g. ngaio, poroporo, etc... 1. Poisonous native plants – Poisonous plants and fungi – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand and https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/42013/Poisonous_plants_nz.pdf .

 

anyone who is beekeeping commercially shouldn't be surprised by tutin rules and the consequences of beekeeping in areas rich in that plant unless they've not done their homework at all - and I don't think those players deserve much sympathy. You say that the problem isn't the beekeeper, I'd suggest that the source of the problem of contaminated honey in the market is beekeepers who don't comply with regulations..

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also, some maths on the collection area for any hive is simple.

i.e. let's say they will collect out to 1 Km if they really like honeydew from the leafhoppers, so that's Pi r squared, so area of at least 3 Km sq (= 300 hectares) which may take some while to clear of tutin !

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If you could snap your fingers and have Tutu disappear in a flash, 2/3 of NZ would slide into the water & wash out to sea.

You are absolutely right. Tutu is one of the dominant plants in many native settings.

 

Eradicating it would be like trying to get rid of gorse from the West Coast.

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