White Pollen

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


House Bee
Mar 27, 2009
Reaction score
Jersey C.I.
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Hi all,
my bees are bringing in white pollen, could anyone tell me where this is from? My pollen book "A Colour Guide to Pollen Loads of the Honey Bee" by William Kirk does not list a white pollen and it's comming thick and fast.

Many Thanks, Enzo
If it is thick and fast, go for a walk and have a look. Direction of bee flights may give a good clue where to start.

Regards, RAB
Just noticed your location,whats the temp been the last week for you?
I googled but only got silly results so not much use there.

Try looking at local plant info.

Oh and please let us know...

The fold out pocket guide indicates alder or hazel, but Hodges/Kirk says not.

I'd like to know what it is too as mine were fetching it in the other day - I have started to suspect polystyrene...
Clever girls, and typical ladies to want the best...

After seeing the insides of a plywood nuc that died recently I'm inclined to agree with you Poly Hive!

Despite the partial mesh floor there was lots of black mould and about 2 litres of dead bees on the floor. The cause of death? - probably isolation starvation, there was still one full frame of stores adjacent to hive wall, both sides were unused, heads in empty cells elsewhere.

They had plenty of fondant above (untouched) with insulation on the ends of the hive and above in the roof and went into winter with 4-5 frames of stores. :(
Sounds like those bee's had something wrong with them,more than starvation if they were in contact with fondant above the cluster,2 litres of bee's was not weak for a nuc,must be arounrd 14,000 bee's
Last edited:
The fondant left immediately above the frames was all taken, that on top of the crownboard accessed by a 1.5 inch diameter hole in the middle was untouched.

There is no soiling outside the hive and maybe half a dozen small streaks on the frame with the remaining stores. A bee sample is in the freezer and I'll get them checked for nosema. If anything the nuc adjacent to them was causing me more concern with streaks not far from the entrance, yet today as we reach the dizzy heights of 5 deg C they are all out foraging or going on cleaning flights.

I recently heard of a strong colony (maybe on 14x12's?) a few miles away, all dead, with no stores left despite going into winter with around 40lbs or so. Hives adjacent and of the same/similar lineage were still heavy and full of live bees.

The thermal characteristics of a ply nuc, even with partial insulation as I had leave a lot to be desired, in a good year they might be ok, for overwintering outside I'd probably not bother again. I've a number of spare national broods that I might divide down the middle so they benefit from the heat of the other - putting them over full size colonies I've found is not really practical when you need to do inspections/fondant/oxalic treatment plus the heat loss from the colony below through what is now the upper hive floor is significantly greater.

I'll be getting some full sized poly hives this year to try out.
I have used just 9mm five frame ply nuc's,made from waste, for several years,only insulation in roof cavity,solid floor and they seem to over winter perfectly. Currently have 75 of these with bee's in and not one loss yet in these nuc's this winter,but suspect the climate down here in the south is also a great help.
Well, the temp is at the moment is between 8 and 12 degrees in the day, there is Willow but also Hazel around. I am surrounded by woodlands so there's a possibility. At the weekend I'll have a little look and try to see where they are going.

I picked up a copy of the "pocket pollen colour guide" and it shows that Hazel/Alder pollen is white but in my other pollen book by Kirk, Hazel pollen is listed as light green, orange and tan coloured, why so Different?

I suppose the only sure way is to get a sample and make a slide, the problem is , the last time I did this I was none the wiser as some pollen grains are so similar under the microscope with my untrained eye, But I think I'll give it a go and post my findings.

Thank You All, Enzo.
Hi Enzo
Here is Hazel and Alder to help you comfirm which is which.plus pussy willow if it will hwlp

Managed to do a few slides and have come to the conclusion that the white pollen I have comming in is Hazel, just funny that it's not listed in any of the books I have.

Thank you to all, much appriciated,

How about Cocaine perhaps they have found the local dealers stash and they have developed a habit
You could be right, This is jersey - offshore - there's more dodgy white stuff here in Kg than People!! :willy_nilly:

Latest posts