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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bay City, MI 48706
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    80

    Default Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    I read an article about a beekeeper who did not want his bees where there was Japanese Knotweed.
    The reason was not explained, does anyone know what the reason may be?

    Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,066

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    Perhaps he thinks honey flavor from Japanese Knotweed is too strong.

    Japanese knotweed flowers are valued by some beekeepers as an important source of nectar for honeybees, at a time of year when little else is flowering. Japanese knotweed yields a monofloral honey, usually called bamboo honey by northeastern U.S. beekeepers, like a mild-flavored version of buckwheat honey (a related plant also in the Polygonaceae).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_knotweed
    It is also reported to crystallize fairly quickly. Here is one beek's perspective:
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/knotty-but-nice-for-bees/


    Some Beesource members like it:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...anese-Knotweed
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,363

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    I think only the beekeeper could answer that question. Yes it can discolor your lighter honey but it also comes in a bit later so the early honey can be seperated by removing it before the knotweed flow begins. To this beekeeper any honeyflow is a good one.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,942

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    As someone said: I can sell dark, I can't sell empty!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    This just came up on a thread on Bee-L recently. Apparently knotweed produces an ok tasting honey, but the smell is off. Some of the commercial guys said that it was great for overwintering, but that honey packers would reject it, because even diluted it would still have the smell. You can search the Bee-L archives to find the thread, I think it was under Midwestern Beekeeping. I believe it was mentioned that some would move to the riverbottoms where the knotweed was after pulling honey to build up for Winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,673

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    I have to disagree about Knotweed honey having an off smell. The last 2 years, I've won the dark honey catagory at our County Fair with honey that was mainly Knotweed. Good flavor and it comes at a time when, otherwise, we'd be in a dearth.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    Could easily be different varieties, I looked it up and there were like 50 different closely related species of knotweed. I don't doubt your experience, but I also have no reason to doubt the experience of guy in question. I believe he was talking about Minnesota. Others on the list also mentioned that they kept knotweed honey separate and sold it as such with an explanation of the unusual smell. Beekeeping is local, who knows.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Creston bc canada
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    This is from Wikipedia:


    Japanese knotweed flowers are valued by some beekeepers as an important source of nectar for honeybees, at a time of year when little else is flowering. Japanese knotweed yields a monofloral honey, usually called bamboo honey by northeastern U.S. beekeepers, like a mild-flavored version of buckwheat honey (a related plant also in the Polygonaceae).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    If it flowers and the bees like it I like it !!

    I have met keepers that don`t like "Loosestrif" honey but my bees love it sooooooo
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    Everyone has their preferences for taste. If they don't like it, then cut it down and replace with another nectar source.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    Quote Originally Posted by SwedeBee1970 View Post
    If they don't like it, then cut it down and replace with another nectar source.
    Now that would bee hard to do
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    If they don't like it, then cut it down and replace with another nectar source.
    If only it were that easy we could reclaim hundreds of miles of streamsides and riverbottoms;the stuff is incredibly invasive and persistent.....you better be ready to cut it down every few weeks for a couple years if you want to get rid of it.
    But all the critters that drink nectar sure do love it come fall.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,673

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    Before I had bees I had been actively fighting its rapid spread up our hollow for several years with very little effect. Incredibly resilient stuff. Once I saw how happy it made my bees, though, I decided to leave well enough alone.
    Last edited by cg3; 12-21-2012 at 07:12 AM. Reason: sp
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Creston bc canada
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    Perhaps there's more than one reason the bees like it , as I was looking at it in Wiki , I read that it has high levels of Oxalic Acid , something we use to kill mites.

    You never know.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: Beekeeping and Japanese Knotweed

    In a couple of my yards we get a good knotweed flow late in the season. The honey is very dark. I have no problem selling it and many customers ask for it. This year because of the dry late summer we didn't get nearly as much knotweed as normal and I've been out of it for about a month. Bummer cause people are calling and asking for it. I've not noticed the knotweed in my area as having any kind of "off" smell.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

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