Goldenrod vs. Knotweed
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  1. #1
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    Nov 2009
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    St Albans, Vermont
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    Question Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Hello All,

    I'm interested in the importance of japanese knotweed in Northern latitudes. I'm in the Toronto area at the moment, and I've been watching bees and paying attention to what flowers they seem to be favoring. Goldenrod has been very abundant this year, yet I haven't seen a ton of bees on it - or asters. The only thing I've consistently seen them on in force is japanese knotweed.

    So I'm wondering about the importance of this invasive plant to the bee in areas where it grows abundantly. It is not usually listed in the top late-season plants for bees the way goldenrod and asters are, but in both Nova Scotia and Ontario, I have seen a tremendous amount of activity on the flowers this time of year.

    How important is this plant to the bees? What is your sense of it? Do you see the bees favoring it in your area?

    Thanks,

    Adam

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    I am just north of Toronto and goldenrod peaked here last week. From the smell, all the yards they worked it for a couple of weeks. They were still working it right up until the weather turned, but its looking pretty much finished now. When goldenrod blooms it seems to be everywhere. Purple aster's are really just coming into bloom now. I don't see a lot of knotweed in this area, but our climate is a little colder than Toronto (Zone 5 vs Zone 6).
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
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    1,028

    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Major honey plant in areas of Michigan.
    20 hives, 10 years, T and TF, All local stock

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Yes, major honey plant. When one major honey plant fails others may appear to contribute more to the overall crop. If we are whatever fills the barrels sorts of beekeepers then both Goldenrod and Knotweed are both major honey plants.
    Mark Berninghausen

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    The honeybees love knotweed.....and you may not see them on the goldenrod but they are there. Usually the knotweed and goldenrod are combined for honey. The honey is absolutely yummy! Beautiful red color of honey is the knotweed.
    Proverbs 16:24

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    1,783

    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Knot weed is an invasive species so some people complain, well so is the honey bee and also the European race. In times like these with the 3 crop rotation system increasingly taking over pastures and forest land and diminishing bee foraging areas I personally am thank full that nature tries to balance some of the man made problems, thus knotweed provides feed for foraging bees in my area when there is not much else around. As far as I am concerned bring on invasive species if they provide food for bees.
    Johno

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    What percentage of our honey plants are natives and what percentage are invasive/imported?
    Mark Berninghausen

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    What percentage of our honey plants are natives and what percentage are invasive/imported?
    I would think for nectar that half is non native?

    Native:
    Maples
    Dandelions
    Basswood
    Joe Pye Weed
    Goldenrod
    Asters

    Non-native:
    Clovers
    Canola
    Trefoil
    Vipers bugloss
    Purple loosestrife
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  10. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Vipers bugloss? I am not familiar w/ that one? Does it go by another name? What does it look like? Where does it grow?
    Mark Berninghausen

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    my best golden rod yard, I just pulled all my supers and it was all knot weed honey.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Last year the basswood was the dominant flavor in the jar and this year it may be knot weed.
    Mark Berninghausen

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Vipers bugloss? I am not familiar w/ that one? Does it go by another name? What does it look like? Where does it grow?
    It's also known as blue weed. It is taller with blue flowers.

    http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/...s/blueweed.htm
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Chapel Hill NC
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    22

    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Vipers bugloss? I am not familiar w/ that one? Does it go by another name? What does it look like? Where does it grow?
    It can grow in USDA zones 4-8 usually. Not really a fun plant to have per se since you have to have gloves on, the plant has prickly stems and leaves, it can also be pretty invasive. You'll have to cut the deadheads if you don't want new plants the following year it self-seeds pretty well. Pollen is blue, bees love it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echium_vulgare

    http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ECVU

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Fort Gay, WV, USA
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Knotweed here in WV is being preferred in my area. I have seen the bees on it 4 to 1 compared to the goldenrod, however the knotweed just fizzled out here, and the goldenrod is all but in full bloom. So I see more bees going to it now than before.

    I do see it as a major honey source here though.
    Thomas Bartram

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    bridgton maine
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    124

    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    The stuff is awesome for bees- we have had a pretty tough drought for a few months and this stuff- the knot weed just seems to refresh itself. it is invasive as hec so the townships and road departments will try and kill in new England in some places but it seems to draw the bees and if you look at it closely anything that makes its living with nectar is loving it. its very hardy and I think this is a real benefit to northern beeks. Asters are looking good this year as well and maybe do better in dry years???
    B

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Bees go to what ever they can get. Knot weed is a good source here but yesterday we were in the garden pulling weeds and such and all kinds of bees, flys, wasps were hammering a weed that looks like a miniature daisy.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #17
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    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    That sounds like the white aster , looks like a miniature daisy we also have the purple variety.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Goldenrod vs. Knotweed

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    That sounds like the white aster
    That is what they have to be Laketrout. They are 3 to 4 feet tall and they surround the apiary.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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