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Thread: Kudzu?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Russellville, Alabama
    Posts
    112

    Default Kudzu?

    I was wondering if bees would work the kudzu? I have a couple acres that are starting to bloom. Would it be worth my time to move a weaker hive to this location?

    Michael
    2 hives
    Russellville, AL.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    We don't have that species of plant in Kansas and frankly, you can keep it there. Rumor has it the honey from Kudzu is a bluish. Isn't it considered a noxious weed and not legal to allow it to propogate? Or if I'm mistaken, is there a use for that plant other than to destroy utility power poles and damage or kill off desired tree species?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default

    I read a few years ago that bees do work it for the nectar. I think I remember it was brought to this country for cattle browse, and in certain areas (mostly the southeast) it literally took over.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Kudzu

    I live here in south carolina and the kudzu here is prolific! It has a small blue flower with a delightful fragrance. It can pull down massive trees and power lines and can grow 18 inches overnight, but it is a great grazing for cattle which will eat it to death. It has as huge root that can get to be the size of a small car. The root is a delicacy in Japan which is where it is from and it was over harvested there so some from here ship to there. I have not tasted the honey from it yet but if it tastes anything like the blossom smells like it should be delightful!

  5. #5

    Default

    Yep, those blooms smell like grape gum. You know, that artifically flavored bubble gum you chewed as a youngster. If you drive past a patch of the stuff when its blooming you can surely smell it. Its not a bad smell. There's a fellow in south Alabama who makes kudzu honey. The long and short of it is, yes your bees will happily work kudzu.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Russellville, Alabama
    Posts
    112

    Default

    When I bought this property I looked at the kudzu as a weed until I got tired of killing it and decided to fert. it for the deer. The acre that I put 13.13.13 on now has no kudzu on it. The deer killed it out (after I mowed it). Here we have people that make jelly from the blooms and some cook the greens. I will try the honey and see how it goes. Does anyone know if it gives off much nectar?
    Michael
    2nd year beek, 3 hives!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    standish, michigan
    Posts
    212

    Default

    Heres the blue honey thread on Kudzo:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=220430

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Thaxton, Mississippi
    Posts
    457

    Default

    Have a lot of kudzu around my bees. I have seen them working the kudzu but not very often. It seem things have to be just right. Probably more than 100 acres near some of my hives and I have never seen a surplus during the kudzu bloom.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    11

    Default

    i've actually done some researching before on kudzu for an environmental science class

    the vine is an invasive species from japan, and can grow a foot or more overnight. it was originally brought here in the early 1900s at an expo as a possible plant to help control erosion. Lots of it was planted throughout the southeast, and the conditions for its growth was much better than in Japan, and it just shot off, basically growing rampant everywhere down there and taking up space from native species, growing around and over them and blocking out their sunlight. It can pull down telephone poles and electricity poles, and even uproot trees by growing up and over them so much that the weight becomes too much for the poor trees.

    as destructive as it is, it definitely should not be coaxed to keep growing more, and i do believe their are laws restricting it being brought to other states and areas (though a couple patches of it have popped up in other areas, yikes!).

    however, this plant actually does have some uses: the leaves can be eaten as a leaf vegetable, the roots can be eaten and cooked like any other root vegetable, and the flowers can be cooked like squash blossoms or be made into jelly (which is supposed to be pretty good, though we thankfully have no kudzu in california, so i cant vouch myself).

    =)

    and dont worry about helping it spread by allowing bees to pollinate the flowers/seed pods. the plant doesnt spread well by its seeds, as most arent viable anyhow. it spreads mostly from its long and massive rootsystems branching out underground and growing up from them

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