Invasion Honey

100% local honey, harvested exclusively from Knotweed nectar

Our bees in northwest NJ
Invasion Honey in the hive, showing off its unique red color

Knotweed is an invasive plant species that flowers from late August until early September during a time when nothing else is flowering in Northern NJ. During this time, knotweed acts as the bees’ sole source of nectar, allowing us at HarBee to provide you with honey sourced exclusively from the knotweed plant.

How we do it? Bees will produce wildflower honey from May to July. In July, we harvest all of the honey that the bees have made from May until that time, leaving the bees with empty boxes which they will then fill exclusively with Knotweed honey.

Taste

Knotweed honey is intensely flavorful. It can be described as having a slight licorice taste accompanying the classical honey flavor.

Uses

Knotweed honey can be used for all of the same purposes as wildflower honey, but many use it to highlight its unique flavor. Founder Pat Harrison makes a killer sweet potato and Invasion honey.

The “Invasion” Plant FAQ

Is this contributing to the invasive-species problem though pollination? It is unlikely that our honeybees enable knotweed to spread more through their pollination services, and even if they do, there is little that we can do. Our only option would be to isolate the bees from knotweed by moving them to a different area, but this would make little sense since most areas contain different invasive plant species.

So is knotweed a good thing? No, not at all. We feel that beekeepers producing knotweed honey are the only people benefiting from the introduction of this plant.

If you find knotweed in your area, we would encourage you to remove all plants in their infant stages to prevent them from overtaking native vegetation. However, if it is August and they are already flowering, let us make a little Invasion honey while this year’s battle is lost.

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