We don't have bees yet, but were hoping to get a hive within the next year. However, ysterday I got a positive id on three tutu bushes at the roadside close to us, on community owned land. (A neighbour had mentioned them as being a hazard to stock). We are surrounded by bush, which continues into the National Park, and it's highly unlikely those three bushes sprouted in isolation, so I think we can take it as read we are in a tutu hazard area.
We'd still want bees for the pollination benefits, but are there management methods such as not having honey supers on in certain months, which can allow safe harvest of some honey?
(Getting any honey tested is a given, of course).
And props to Gary of Kiwimana - it was your photo of tutu leaves which came up when I searched on my phone while standing beside the suspect bush!
Removing supers during the high risk for tutu time would probably just result in swarming. The key thing with tutin poisoning is dry weather combined with passion vine hopper infestation of the tutu plants. In these conditions nectar flow stops and through desperation the bees will collect the sugary, tutin-laced excretions of the passion vine hoppers instead. Plenty of honey is taken from regions where tutu grows, but presumably extractions are all carried out in spring. Best to contact the Asure Quality for the official guidlines though.
Thanks Virgil. That gives us some hope, as "dry weather" is something of an unknown concept this close to Mt Taranaki - save for occasionally in February. We'll be aiming to provide a season-long menu of the bees favourite plants close to home, too, so we should be able to avoid that desperation.
Those three bushes will be for the chop of course, but we'll keep an eye out now that we recognize it.