The tree’s blossoms are poisonous to honey bees. (DANGER FOR BEES)

Blooming buckeye in Contra Costa County California:

  • May 5, 2024
  • May 10, 2023
  • May 15, 2022
  • May 20, 2021

Why are Buckeyes not edible for honey bees?

Buckeyes, which refer to the seeds from trees of the Aesculus genus such as horse chestnuts and Ohio buckeyes, are not edible for honey bees primarily due to the presence of toxic compounds. These seeds contain glycosides such as aesculin, which can be toxic to many animals, including honey bees. When these glycosides are ingested and metabolized, they can interfere with cellular processes and lead to toxicity.

For honey bees specifically, their primary food sources are nectar and pollen from flowers, and they generally do not interact with buckeye seeds. However, if they were to ingest substances from buckeyes, the toxic effects could impair their health or be lethal. Therefore, while buckeyes are not typically part of a bee’s diet, their toxic nature makes them unsuitable and potentially dangerous for bees.