What's the verdict on Honeyberries...are they tasty?


I have honeybee. It’s gotten mixed reviews in my household. All the kids and myself love it, my husband says it’s a spitter. It does have intense tartness and needs to hang on the bush to develop sugar. We often cannot wait long enough and so they don’t always taste as good as they could! The problem is that they are the first fruits of the year and how can you just let it sit there when it LOOKS ripe?? It’s hard to do. They look ripe but they really need more time, often enough. Honeybee is a nice rounded, upright shrub.

I also have either Maxi or Solo, labels got lost and one died at some point. It doesn’t have a flavor that distinguishes it from Honeybee in my experience. I had Cinderella and Aurora too, until my husband mistakenly pulled them out. Cinderella was also indistinguishable. Aurora was noticeably sweeter but a smaller, more spread out bush for me. But had it not gotten ripped out maybe it would have developed some size, I don’t know.


You might be interested in reading what the LoveHoneyberry site has to say about Honeybee.

If cost is an object and you are interested in Blue Moon and/or Velvet (need both for pollination), you might check out Ison’s. I just ordered one of each from them for a total of 14.40 a piece after using a 15% discount code, which is a savings of 15.10 over Jung Seeds’ price for the same variety. Two “cons” of ordering from them would be that 1. Those are the only two honeyberries that they carry and 2. I had to pay for shipping, so unless you are interested in other things that they have to offer it might not be worth it (you’d have to do the math). I was already placing an order with them for some other things, so adding those two items only cost me 2.79 extra in shipping.


honey bee isn’t as good for fresh eating but is very good for processing and is very productive . aurora is sweeter and even more productive so i have 2 auroras and 1 honeybee for pollination. id have all aurora but they are only partially self fertile.


TJ, originally Aurora and Borealis were named that way so you would know they belong together. Today they are no longer marketed that way. I have both and enjoy both. The berries on borealis are much more hidden and more difficult to pick, but taste is good. The Indigo series are compatible with Aurora, but not with Borealis. I don’t have Honey Bee, but understand it to be a pollinator variety (ie. it has a job to do, but is not necessarily that good to eat). https://research-groups.usask.ca/fruit/documents/haskap/Haskap%20bloom%20ripe%20charts.pdf


I’ll be adding the 3 newer borealis series (beauty, beast, and blizzard) this year. A local conservation district is selling the potted set for $42 so I decided I’d give them a try.


Ive got 25 1 year old indigo gem in 1/2 gallon pots Id sell for $12 each plus actual shipping costs if anyone is interested. They are just starting to wake up so should ship fine still. I made more than I really need last year… I think I also have some of the same sized Honey Bee Id sell for the same price, not sure quantity tho, they arent at my house. just FYI

Here are the IG’s… Picture taken today

grass isn’t in the pots, grew between them…


Yes, I think Borealis, Honey Bee, Tundra, and Berry Blue would all pollinate Aurora well and be good for processing. I’m just not sure if there is really a clear winner among those varieties for fresh eating/flavor. It sounds like they are all subpar compared to Aurora and the Boreal series.


Fresh eating Aurora is a winner, Indigo gem is good also, but the growth habit isnt as upright which requires a bit more pruning. Honey Bee is tarter but produces well and is good if you like a little more acid or plan to do more canning/preserves or possibly cooking with the berries. Tundra is subpar as is borealis. Borealis does make a nice ornamental however, so if you are looking for an edible ornamental, its worth considering. I dug both of those varieties out years ago already. I havent grown berry blue so I wont comment on it, but its not a top performer or I would have grown it already. All the borealis series are supposed to be good, but this will be the first year I hopefully have berries to try from those, they are later so if you have SWD, they might be a little more challenging. Also they would likely perform better in warmer climates than some of the earlier producers that tend to wake up easier. BU strawberry sensation is claimed to be good also, but I havent had mine fruit yet so no first hand experience.


My thought, when it comes to buying honeyberries (or any fruit) is not only taste, yes, that’s important (number one outside of pest/disease resistance), but also ripening times. I like to have different varieties so that I can harvest over a longer period of time. If I have to add a little honey to them to combat tartness, that’s okay by me.


Thanks for the input! I do have a big problem with SWD here, but I have never noticed them on my blueberries. I’m hoping honeyberries will be similar, in that regard. There are so many wild blackberries, black cherries, and elderberries here that ripen in July/August that they seem to focus on those (and my raspberries). The SWD pressure isn’t too bad until late July. I’ll get Blizzard and Beast, since Beauty ripens the latest. I think I’ll get Aurora and Honey Bee as the other 2 then.


Well Beast is sold out… and Beauty doesn’t pollinate Blizzard well. So, should I go with Aurora, Honey Bee and Blizzard and hope that Honey Bee will pollinate Blizzard well enough? ( U of SK lists them as being OK pollinators for each other) Or just get 2 Auroras with the Honey Bee pollinator?


If you really want beast (like I did) you might call them to see if they will have it back in stock anytime soon. They were out of stock in early Feb. when I was going to order. I held off and a couple of weeks later they had them back in stock, so I ordered. I’m also waiting for a back ordered Trixia Gooseberry from them, so apparently, they are able to get more stock sometimes.


Hi, I have honey berry plant that leaves out on Feb 10 this year and started flowering on mid March. It is still flowering as of today. The pollinator plant is 2-3 weeks behind and not flowering that much and stopped flowering now. I like to buy another type that is more compatible. Which type would be better pollinator (Zone 7b Northeast)?



Kate i would probably get a variety to match up with your other late blooming variety first and then find a early blooming variety, When is your average last frost date? This year seems earlier for most people but does feb 10th line up with other fruit trees this year or are you okay protecting them from frost?

One of my honeyberries is in full bloom right now and she is going to have a super rough week since we hopefully will not get down to 15 like they say or have 6 days of frost in a row.

Do you like sweet or tart berries or both and what is your soil like?


Average frost date is April 5. I prefer sweet but don’t mine of tart ones. I would like to get an plant that match with the earlier bloomer as the second plant only bloomed less than 3 weeks and didn’t have many flowers. I can put cover over plants if need to.

Which of your honey berry is blooming now?


My honeyberries were well leafed out when we had our coldest day of the winter (14 degrees)……and suffered no damage.

Now has about 3 or so inches new growth…but no flowers. (An older one I had died of drought a couple years back in a container that I missed watering one week.) So, I have gallon containers, plus liners upped to pint pots.


@BlueBerry I have not had good luck when the flowers get toasted by frosts but they do seem to rebloom for me later in the year. They definitely seem like they can hold there formed fruit through a frost but really seem to dislike when the frost hits right as they are leafing out or blooming for me.

I do not know honestly its either blue velvet, blue lake or blue moon and i put it in full sun spot which was not a good place for it in my climate. I had originally planted 4 six years ago and only two are alive of those today. I really only am interested in late blooming varieties that are tart or tart and sweet. Honeyberry USA has a great selection and the lovehoneyberry website has some cool information on cultivars.

My assumption is Aurora you would like and would work well for you and get Beauty as a late blooming variety.


So, I’ve seen a few brief mentions of them, but does anyone have experience tasting Keiko, tana, or blue cloud, blue treasure, or blue delight?


I planted 5 Honeyberry plants about 6 years ago and I’ve decided to remove them this year. The berries are good in jams and very good when left on the bush to dry like raisins but not great for fresh eating. Mostly I’m just tired of removing dead birds from the nets. They will do anything to get to the berries and ultimately tangle themselves up. I may try to find some place in my landscape to move them to and just let the birds have them. I think they make a nice ornamental bush.


My sympathies. But, I think all the wildlife ‘comeback’ has become an un-natural situation.
There are more birds, squirrels, deer, bear, birds of prey, you name it, than ever in the lifetimes of us older folks.

(A lot of it taxpayer funded…even breeding and releasing copperhead snake in the Daniel Boone National Forest!)