Pollen experiment - for beginners like me

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Firegazer 

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Hey, beginners, listen up!

Do you (like me) feel awe and respect for the Old Crusties when they say things like "the bees were bringing lots of Hazel pollen in yesterday" ?

How do they know? Do they follow them and watch?

I ripped off a micro-branch with 3 or 4 Hazel catkins on it, yesterday, and rubbed them on my finger. Not a lot happened. I left it on a white envelope overnight (basically forgot to throw it away) and this morning there's quite a bit of pollen on the envelope. It's really bright yellow, with a touch of green in it.

I suggest you try the same, look closely at the pollen, then you will recognise it when your bees bring it back.

If you want double cred points, you have to look up the Latin name on Wikipedia and use that. You may get into trouble this way though as there is a sub-species of the Beekeeping Crusty that knows loads about different plant varieties and they may catch you out if you make a mistake.

I'll do this one for you, but then you're on yer own:
"I saw my bees bringing back lots of Corylus the other day" - how crusty does that sound???

;-)

FG
 

ainsie 

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Hi Firegazer, would that be corylus avellana or corylus avellana contorta?:laughing-smiley-004.Ainsie.
 

Firegazer 

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Err, it's a big tree, sort of pale green.

Could you identify it from a catkin photo for a Mars bar prize?

FG
 

oliver90owner 

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AND given it is just 'yellow' may not help the likes of me, who is part colour-blind. But it is not going to be daffodil or OSR or lots of other possibilities for all the correct reasons (time of the year, not honey bee forage, wrong country, etc.)

The microscope can come to the rescue, if the time of the season and a quick look around at the flora in bloom is not helpful.

AND for the beginners - that is how trading standards assess the origin of your honey. By looking at the separated pollen, the experts can see quite quickly if your honey has some pollen from exotic species (which are found only in China, for instance), or is predominantly not what you claim it is from, etc.

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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well its not rocket science, i justuse this nice little book from Amazon.co.uk


A Colour Guide to Pollen Loads of the Honey Bee (Paperback)
by William D.J. Kirk (Author)

Price: £12.50
 
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Poly Hive 

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Said Crustily... son of a Master Printer points out.......... that sadly........

There is a bit of a gap between the colour of the load on the bee, and the book, as inks vary (a lot).

So........ if there are very subtle variations it is down to guess work... again.

PH............ totters off into the distance muttering angrily, "Crusty, crusty, I'll show them crusty if the young bu****s come near my stick. Bl***y whippersnappers never had a good stinging in their lives... give me ten minutes on the heather with them and a good kick to a hive and we will see who has what. No respect at all."
 

wilderness 

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also the bees apparently add a bit of nectar to the pollen they are collecting so the colour changes from the "raw" material.

Take a look at "The pollen loads of the Honeybee" by Dorothy Hodges. It has colour swatches with the range of pollen colour collected from each plant. It also has some microscope pictures of pollen grains.

... and it has Latin names.

Why is PH getting upset - is he classified as a crustie :reddevil:
 

victor meldrew 

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THEY DON'T COME CRUSTIER THAN Victor Meldrew hurrumph!!

John Wilkinson
 

wilderness 

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Hey, beginners, listen up!

Do you (like me) feel awe and respect for the Old Crusties when they say things like "the bees were bringing lots of Hazel pollen in yesterday" ?

How do they know? Do they follow them and watch?
they just guess :) if it's February and the pollen is yellow it must be Hazel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollen_source American plants.

Useful little pocket guide http://www.beedata.com/nbb/pollen_colour_guide.htm

You'll soon be a melissopalynologist.
 

Deux Ruches 

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Absoutely brilliant !! It's threads like this which make reading Beekeeping Forum such a joy. Full of practical help and advise, with the occasional spate of old fashion banter. Wonderful, Thanks.
Nick.
 

wilderness 

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Snowdrop and Crocus pollen pics

took the opportunity to go out with my camera to see what the bees were working. Also saw my first bumblebees of the year also working the blue crocus.
 

Repwoc 

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Said Crustily... son of a Master Printer points out.......... that sadly........

There is a bit of a gap between the colour of the load on the bee, and the book, as inks vary (a lot).
Typical printer's excuse.

Paul
Colour Chemist
 

Bcrazy 

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What about acanite pollen its yellow and the bees are feeding on that.

Then there are snowdrops so what colour is the pollen from snowdrops?

Regards;

an olde crusty
 
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darrenperrett 

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Really good Pics Wilderness. I`ve borrowed one for my background :cheers2:

Darren.
 

Bcrazy 

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Thought i had better show willing



 

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