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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ligustrum japonicum
Common Name(s): Japanese Privet or Wax Leaf Privet

I have 6 of these mature trees/shrubs in my backyard. When they bloom in late spring the honey bees are all over them. In my local bee club group, someone posted that her grandfather told her that it makes honey bitter and that he destroyed them and considered them nuisance plants.

Can anybody verify this? Opinions welcome.

62757


62758
 

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I have large hedges of Amur Privet.
What you have is similar but NOT it.
Mine don't have the leaves as waxy as you have on your pictures.

Honey-wise - whatever my bees collect from it in mid-June just gets eaten right away because this is the colony development time at my place (not surplus honey time).
I don't know if the bitter honey claim is accurate.
I also can bring up other claims about the Privet honey which I have seen elsewhere - not bitter but still having somewhat unpleasant flavor/scent to it.

Those grandfathers have lots of wrong ideas (just as well as right ideas) - really a coin-flip but not a reliable advice. :)
 

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Mutts.
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Ligustrum japonicum might be more 'useful' bee forage than Ligustrum sinense but I would not take any chances nor plant it here. L Sinense is a terrible invasive along creeks where you can not spray, (not that we spray anywhere...) or run a bush hog. Been fighting the stuff since 1989 when we bought the place. Used to own a small skid steer and it was great for the larger hedges which can be as big as small trees. Never seen a bee working the tiny blooms, something must because the millions of seeds all seem to come up.
 

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I guess taste the honey this year, and the proof is in the pudding so to speak.
I have heard some things like this as well, One needs to take into account what Greg says about the season being growth and likely the nectar used for expansion, as well it will be mixed with other blooms so give it a try. My honey is different every year and not ever disappointing.

GG
 

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I know that in my area at my elevations we have a lot of mountain laurel, said to make horrible honey and also be poisonous when used in bees honey. I know a very successful beekeeper surrounded by it. I personally like a little bite in my honey
 

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Privet in this area has small roundish leaves and the bees really work it. Privet is super invasive and grows anywhere / everywhere. I pull up every piece I see and it will get big, it's worse than bamboo.
 

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Privet in this area has small roundish leaves and the bees really work it. Privet is super invasive and grows anywhere / everywhere. I pull up every piece I see and it will get big, it's worse than bamboo.
Here in NE Georgia it is probably our main nectar flow since it is everywhere. I have not noticed any bitterness in my honey. The US Forestry Service spends millions of dollars a year getting rid of it. When I lived in Augusta the big invasive there was Carolina Laurel Cherry, it is a native plant but will take over a yard and is poisonous.
"There are about 50 species of Ligustrum, all native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Ligustrum has been developed into an assortment of ornamental varieties in the U.S. and other parts of the world. In 1852, privet was introduced to the United States for use as an ornamental shrub and is still commonly used as a hedge. Because of Ligustrum’s ability to tolerate air pollution and other poor environmental conditions, it was regarded as a great landscape plant and planted extensively. Unfortunately, this was before its invasive characteristics were discovered. Establishment of privet in many natural areas of Florida has occurred through its escape from cultivation. Glossy privet (L. lucidum) is listed as a Category II species with the potential to disrupt native plant communities in Florida by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Chinese privet (L. sinense) is a Category I species that is currently disrupting native plant communities in Florida."
 
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