Bees, Japanese knotweed and the weather!

Friday 18th May 2012

Conservation and beekeeping are twin interests of mine and run alongside my love of gardening and killing invasive weeds. At the moment the weather is the main factor affecting both bees and Japanese knotweed. Neither of them like cold nights and days and a frost could end up killing some of the knotweed shoots; the bees are better protected in their hive (complete with an insulated roof).

As I write this blog the fields around us are yellow with Oilseed Rape, but the flowers dont yield nectar until the temperature rises over 16C, so no honey is being made at the moment! The bees have been foraging on some plants dandelions, cotoneaster, etc, but this will only be enough to keep them going and not to produce a surplus.

Japanese knotweed on the other hand, is more resilient and will only be killed by a sharp frost at this time of year not an unusual event! We have had sharp frosts in mid-May in several of the last five years. Obviously if the knotweed is treated and then killed by a frost, the treatment will have been ineffective so we have been holding off from making our first spray visits this year, until we should be beyond this risk.

On our journeys around the country recently, looking at Japanese knotweed sites, we have noticed that untreated stands are between 3-5 foot high, whereas treated areas may be anything between no visible growth to growth of 1 foot high. Treated stands also usually have a lot fewer shoots than untreated areas!

If you would like to talk to a professional about your knotweed problem, please call us. Our quotations are free and without obligation.

Contact Brian Taylor on 01327 340770 or email me on my email.