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Flora dangerous to bees


Hi all! I received my Flow Hive a few weeks ago; it’s all put together, about to be coated with Tung oil, and we’re a couple of weeks away from nuc installation. A friend of mine visited the other day, and we were discussing where to place the hive, and I mentioned that I was considering putting the hive near an African Tulip Tree we have growing, to which my friend replied: “You can’t do that…African Tulip Trees are poisonous to bees!”

After some research, I’ve found that she is correct, and that African Tulip Trees are indeed poisonous to most insect species, including honey bees and Australian native bees. I’ve spoken to several beekeepers in my local area and the greater Brisbane area, and they’ve all said that they wouldn’t be concerned about having an African Tulip Tree on the property…one lady even said that she has an Australian stingless bee box installed directly beneath an African Tulip Tree, and the bees do not seem to be adversely affected.

I have a couple of questions that I hope can be answered! The first is: how likely are bees to visit an African Tulip Tree? The second is: what other flora is dangerous to be bees, and how concerned should I be about them?

Bees slowly dying

It matters not if you put them under the African tulip tree or two miles from it, the bees will still find it if they want to.


Given a quick google search most people warn that bees can not tell that it is poisonous. I would go so far as to cut this thing down if it were in my yard… Plant something better for them like an apple, pear, etc.


Hi Chantelle, I have the same frame of mind as @adagna. If it’s possible to cut it down, I would. There’s lots of native species you could plant to take it’s place.

The native bees probably aren’t even visiting the African Tulip tree on account it’s not a native species. That’s one thing I learned about native bees. They mainly go for native flora species. It’s interesting to note that the crop they pollinate the best are macadamia nuts. A native species.
Another thing I learned was not to leave mower fuel with a funnel near a native hive. Anyway that’s another story & a lesson learned.

Honeybees however are not so selective in the flowers they visit.

Good luck with your bees when they arrive, cheers:)