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Rhododendron Ponticum Non Native UK Species

In the interests of not just picking all the great bee forage flowers I thought I’d also talk about some flowers which aren’t great for honey bees. In this instance I’ve selective Rhododendron Ponticum, no doubt a beautiful flower but one which is not beneficial for our honey bees.

First introduced to the UK in 1763 the Rhododendron is an incredibly hardy plant which produces a toxin which is thought to act as deterrent to bee species which the plant does not have a preference for in its native environment.

In the case of honey bees Rhododendron nectar proves fatal once ingested. Bumble bees however are impervious to the plants toxic effects.

A further downside to the Rhododendron its incredible ability to propagate with the plant often generating forest like habitats of itself muscling out native UK plant species. In many parts of the UK Rhododendron clearance is now being undertaken to allow native plant species a better chance of getting established. Examples of Rhododendron clearance programmes can be found here: and here

If you’re looking for honey bee friendly forage steer clear of this one.

Colin Davenport

Hi I'm Colin Davenport and I'm the owner of Bee Marvellous Ltd. I'm passionate about Honey Bees and operate Apiaries dotted around Worcestershire in the United Kingdom. I offer a number of Bee products and services such as Honey, Bees Wax, Pollination Services and Bee Hosting. You can buy my Honey directly from this site. If you have any questions about Bee Marvellous and its services feel free to get in touch at the sites contact page.

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