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Im in west Auckland, and just a little curious as to how much of a problem it really is..A couple of years back my sister told me it was only a problem if you ate the comb..But when extracted and mixed the concentration was to low...

Yes. dilution fixes the problem. Just need to be sure you're diluting not concentrating! Easiest to either test your honey collected after the cutoff (31st Dec) or add honey extracted prior to the 31st December.

 

The reason comb honey is a particular risk is the bees visit flowers during a flow in a concentrated way then move to the next concentration and so on - the nectar/dew is placed in the comb cells sequentially so if tutin honey dew is being collected the likelihood of it going into one cell is high. The chances of a comb eater eating that one cell are correspondingly higher as well.

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Roger's on to it, get your honey off by the 31st Dec or after that for $20 at the Auckland Bee club you get to tick the box and proudly tell everyone your honey is tested and safe, it's really a no brainer. Get your comb honey out by the 31st Dec and you can tick another box, see how simple bee keeping can be ;)

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last season was the least ever i've seen in the passion hoppers in most places i ventured,, it was very strange.

even the whitey-woods were given a reprieve which is far from normal.

is tutin nectar poisonous, thats a good question?

it has been linked to many animal deaths from foraging, the sap in the spring is very poisonous and the seed in the autumn.

supposedly a beverage was made from the berrys once the seed was removed in the early days.

one mustard size seed supposedly could kill a child, supposedly

the make up of tutin is still very very unknown and has no antidote.

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The reason comb honey is a particular risk is the bees visit flowers during a flow in a concentrated way then move to the next concentration and so on - the nectar/dew is placed in the comb cells sequentially so if tutin honey dew is being collected the likelihood of it going into one cell is high.

I wonder about this, I've heard it said before. It doesn't fit with how I understand foraging and honey storing goes on. Even if we suppose that all other nectar sources have shut down and there is only Tutin when a foraging bee arrives the nectar load is passed to one of many nectar storing bees, who place it in one of many cells where it is 'processed' further to evapourate water. The nectar is spread thinly around a sizable area to aid the evapouration, and then moved into a smaller area as stored honey, probably interspersed with honey from other nectar sources from other days being moved around by other honey-storers. The 'patch' of finished cells are then sealed. I would think that if there was one bee collecting tutin the chance of the posion being mixed up and a portion placed in several cells is pretty good, and the chance of you eating a dose even better, although I accept that it will not be distributed evenly in the comb. I think the reason the distribution is not even in comb is that it's probably the only thing being collected. That doesn't improve things from our point of view of course, tutin is poisonous even at small doses (2.5microgrammes/kilo is the NOAEL, for comparison, a honey crop can contain about 30 milligrammes of nectar).

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I wonder about this, I've heard it said before. It doesn't fit with how I understand foraging and honey storing goes on. ....

 

....I think the reason the distribution is not even in comb is that it's probably the only thing being collected. .....

As always Dave your insights are thoughtful and helpful. I would say that I understand bees collect tutin dew as a last resort - ie when there are no/few other sources of nectar, and as you note there lies the problem.

 

Cheers

 

Roger

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Should tutu trees be removed, ?

 

if you are able, but if theres 1 theres usually another 100-500 up that creek or gully.

all bush creeks are usually covered in it on there edges, steep banks or anywhere where its damp.

it loves crap soil to, like manuka it will take first hold on cleared areas.

i guess its about how your bees forage, every area things flower a little different and you may find the bees dont touch it.

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is tutin nectar poisonous, thats a good question...it has been linked to many animal deaths

The honey is not poisonous to bees, so I'd say the nectar isn't. This is what you'd expect because the toxic effect acts on vertebrate spinal neurons. It would be illogical if it shuts down invertebrates. I wouldn't go around sucking the flowers myself though.

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Should tutu trees be removed, ?

 

if you are able, but if theres 1 theres usually another 100-500 up that creek or gully.

all bush creeks are usually covered in it on there edges, steep banks or anywhere where its damp.

it loves crap soil to, like manuka it will take first hold on cleared areas.

i guess its about how your bees forage, every area things flower a little different and you may find the bees dont touch it.

They are natives and some Councils plant them so removal will be difficult. It's an item to manage.

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if you are able, but if theres 1 theres usually another 100-500 up that creek or gully.

all bush creeks are usually covered in it on there edges, steep banks or anywhere where its damp.

it loves crap soil to, like manuka it will take first hold on cleared areas.

i guess its about how your bees forage, every area things flower a little different and you may find the bees dont touch it.[They are natives and some Councils plant them so removal will be difficult. It's an item to manage.

/quote]

 

 

I guess it comes down to good management in the end...

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Concern about sucrose in honey has probably spoilt this (but you might tke those frames off), but what would happen if you lightly feed the colony in times of danger? Would they still head out for Tute?

That's a very good question. I guess a related question is do bees forage when able or just when needed? I think it's the former. If so they just add sucrose to the pile.

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