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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Japanese Knotweed and bees

The bees love it - and it is an invasive plant in most of the world. It's on the list of the top ten invasive plants in Georgia. I saw it all along a trail in Cumberland, Maryland, absolutely covered in bees of all kinds, but particularly honeybees.

Here's a bee on Japanese knotweed

Here are another couple of pictures of knotweed and bees on the plant.

This article says that the plant is often found near water and along railroad tracks. I was walking on the C&O towpath that goes along an old railroad bed along the C & O Canal in Cumberland, Maryland.

I wish I had had my camera with me on the walk, but I did not. I have never seen so many bees on a plant. One of my friends on Beemaster posted that it is related to the buckwheat family, a plant family that always draws bees. It also blooms at a time when nothing else much is supplying nectar, so the bees are delighted to find it.

I'm going to the mountains over Labor Day and since Japanese knotweed is on the list of Georgia's invasive plants, hopefully I'll see an example to photograph myself.

Now that I know what it is, I believe I did see it around the Black Rock Mountain lake the last time I was up there and it was covered with bees, but I didn't know what it was and again, didn't have my camera. Probably down here it will be through with its bloom. We'll see.

4 comments:

  1. Linda, your post reminded me of a visit to Lowes Home Improvement the other day. I always walk through the garden shop and the flowering fall plants were absolutely loaded with bumbles and honey bees. I installed my new metal two hive stand, and under it, I planted some kind of creeping Japanese groundcover (came from Lowes). Hopefully it wasn't knotweed -- surely Lowes wouldn't sell something that evasive, but remember, kudzu was considered a "good" plant when the C.C. Camps were in full force! :)

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  2. My neighbour who was an avid gardener once said to me, "Every flowering plant is a weed to someone". And it's true, a plant from another tropical country can really be enjoyed here in North America. Yes a few invasives work they way in but considering it blooms now when bees are looking... I think I'd look the other way and not yank it out :)

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  3. Linda, we have a lot of Japanese knotweed in this area (southern Maine) but I'd never known what it was. I'm forever learning from your blog! Thanks so much.
    Susan L.

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  4. I am thinking of starting a few hives from a friend of mine. It is unfortunate that "Japanese Knotweed" is considered an "invasive species"--maybe Humans should look in the mirror. I live in south Georgia and wish that I could find some knot weed for bees and for the table.

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