Willow pollen

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Queen Bee
Jul 28, 2008
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Hampshire uk
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I was out driving yesterday and noticed loads of willow catkins on the trees.
I was going to get the books out to see when the bees should be collecting pollen from them but then remembered that with the uk climate these days the books can often go out the window.

Does anyone know if willow pollen is being collected yet in their area?
Saw my first Snowdrops yesterday.
Passed a cherry tree yesterday whose flower buds are just opening.

The question is when are we going to get nice enough weather for the bees to start working these early forage sources AND if they then build the brood nest up will we get a cold spell that will see many losses to isolation starvation?

Cambridge UK
Down south we aften get another cold snap around around the 10th-15th February,its all downhill to the summer then.
Bundles of catkins on the Hazel all hanging in profusion.
I have collected 20 catkins and dried them out and the amount of pollen I got amazed me, so I just had to make up a couple of slides.

I have got about 2oz of Hazel pollen in a small jar. There's loads of it about. Also we have snowdrops and aconites in full flower.

Only problem the bees can't get at them due to the poor weather.


What a wally just seen the willow photo and thats not in flower yet.
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Good pics Bcrazy, apart from loads of hazel around here, the hills are yellow with the gorse in flower everywhere you look.not much cop,but looks nice.
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Hi BCrazy,
You said that you have hazel pollen that you got from the catkins.
Could you explain how you "extracted" it? I ask because I have loads of hazel which is covered in lovely yellow catkins which is going to waste as it is too cold for the foragers. If I can collect then mix with a little honey I'm sure it would be welcomed by the bees.
Regards Mike
Hi MJBee

Could you explain how you "extracted"

The methodology to extract pollen grains from Hazel catkins is extremely complicated.

Pick the catkins and place in a container (I used a petri dish) and leave for a few days to let the catkin dry out. Then just gently knock the catkins against the container and out pops all the pollen. Told you its complicated.

Taste the pollen as it quite nice.

Thanks Bcrazy - as simple as that:eek: I'm off to gather a bucket full of catkins:cheers2: Mike

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