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marcros 

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Hi All,

What equipment would be needed in order to test honey samples to identify the source? Would it be allowed to say that something is 75% horse chestnut and 25% dandelion, if there was a trace of any other pollen in it? My idea is to put generic labels on (obeying all current legislation), but also analyse each batch to tell customers exactly what is in the jar, by means of a second label on the lid.

Mark
 

wilderness 

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I've tried extracting & identifying pollen grains from honey but not with much success. I can see pollen grains but identification is difficult as a lot of them look similar.

I have the Lidl microscope so maybe something better would help?

The other problem you would have is that the nectar source might not be the same as the pollen. I'm thinking a bee with baskets full of pollen X walking all over the nectar being stored from flower Y.

I know this is done by ministry labs as one of our local beekeepers had her honey tested and found to be mainly from Palm trees. We don't get Palm trees here in Wallingford but we do have a honey processing plant .....
 

oliver90owner 

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What equipment would be needed in order to test honey samples to identify the source?

Observation - pollen types going in (confirm with local flora in bloom, followed by microscopic analysis.

Single or possibly double floral contents might easily be sortable, but a minefield if there are others....

Regards, RAB
 

marcros 

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A bilogical sciences department of a University, and the funding to go with it.
oh is it that complex?!!

I imagined it to be a matter of seperating out the pollen and having a look under a microscope. Sounds like there is a bit more to it.
 

Polyanwood 

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Hi All,

What equipment would be needed in order to test honey samples to identify the source? Would it be allowed to say that something is 75% horse chestnut and 25% dandelion

Mark
Where is BCrazy?? He loves this kind of challenge. He has looked at the pollen in my honey before - I just covered the cost of the materials. My honey had hundreds of different pollen grains, plus evidence that they had been at the honey dew.

Karin
 

marcros 

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Where is BCrazy?? He loves this kind of challenge. He has looked at the pollen in my honey before - I just covered the cost of the materials. My honey had hundreds of different pollen grains, plus evidence that they had been at the honey dew.

Karin
I am sure that he will be along soon :hurray:
 

Bcrazy 

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Qualitatively is one thing; quantitatively is entirely another.
This definition, however, example entirely negative, ... For one thing, conducting such research would require an ability which no one has,
 

luckyclover 

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Hi Marcros,

You won't be able to quantify the sources of pollen for each jar (a batch wouldn't be specific enough) unless you want to buy a haemocytometer and a statistics book.
It might be nice to indicate that your honey bees collect from x, y and Z over the season as a bit of extra info.
You need to separate the pollen from the honey by dilution and centrifugation and then mount in stained glycerine jelly. You will then need a good pollen identification reference source.
 

PaleoPerson 

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How would you work out a percentage or even a rough guide as to the content of honey from this method? Plants give varying amounts of pollen per head i.e. a bee working OSR will come back totally covered in pollen and yet a bee working clover will not bring as much back, but they could both bring back the same amount of nectar per trip.

Sureley this method would only represent a calculation of pollen in the honey and not the honey type itself.

Therefore, would it correct in stating "this honey contains a mix of ........."
 

Bcrazy 

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To all members,
If you would like to send me at least 20gms in a container of your honey I am willing to try to assertain what pollen grains you have in the sample. There will be some I will not be able to identify buts that's hopefully going to bee very slim.

So if anyone would like me to try to identify grains I shall photograph them to show what's in your honey.
My address is;
Mr. M. Vayghan
Lauriston Copse
Warboys
CAMBS PE28 2US

It will take me a couple of days to finalise your samples.

I am away on a microscopy course of a difference than bees untill next Monday.
 

Polyanwood 

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That is a great offer BCrazy. I will send you some of mine (and £ to cover costs of slides etc.). My honey is much paler this year. Last year it was dark and tasted of citrus and spice..... to be honest it looks a lot better, but tastes less good this year I think. I am really interested to know how it is the same and how it is different from last year's honey.

Karin
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi PaleoPerson

The amount of pollen in a specimen of honey would only tell you what the bees were feeding on at the time the pollen was brought back to the hive in no way can it be deduced the % of any type of pollen per specimen as the whole amount would need to be analysed.

Mo
 

PaleoPerson 

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Hi PaleoPerson

The amount of pollen in a specimen of honey would only tell you what the bees were feeding on at the time the pollen was brought back to the hive in no way can it be deduced the % of any type of pollen per specimen as the whole amount would need to be analysed.

Mo
Thats what I thought.

Cheers :cheers2:
 

luckyclover 

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Hi PaleoPerson

The amount of pollen in a specimen of honey would only tell you what the bees were feeding on at the time the pollen was brought back to the hive in no way can it be deduced the % of any type of pollen per specimen as the whole amount would need to be analysed.

Mo
I don't agree that the whole amount would need to be analysed to get a % of what types of pollen are in a particular batch. Proper sampling techniques and a grasp of statistics should give an estimate. But its an academic point.
 

marcros 

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does anybody have a copy of the Rex Sawyer book 'Honey Identification'
 

Bcrazy 

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The publications I have are;
Pollen ID for b'keepers by Rex sawyer
Honey ID by Rex Sawyer
Pollen Analysis first edition
Pollen & Spores by J.E. King.
Colour of pollen by Kirk.
And there are a few good internet sites for pollen ID.

Mo
 

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