Melissopalynology

The study of pollen contained in honey.

 

 

Here are microscope slides my neighbor made of pollen grains from three different local honeys.  The pollen on the left is from honey from Stevensville, MD; the pollen grain in the center is from honey from Harwood, MD; the pollen grain on the right is taken from my honey (Annapolis, MD).  I believe all of these grains are black locust pollen.  The black locust trees are popular honey bee forage in the state of Maryland.

This is a great book and a must have for any beekeeper wondering what flowers his/her honey bees are visiting.  The Beekeeper's Guide For Pollen Identification of Honey by Mohammad El-Labban explains in clear and easy-to-use steps how to take a honey sample and analyze its pollen grains.

Do you see the large pollen grain at the top of the photo? That's what I've been waiting to see.  This is why I wanted to see pollen.  To see the pollen from Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip poplar tree) in all its glory.  The magnificent tulip poplar trees are everywhere around my apiary.  All my swarms land in tulip poplar trees and poof, there is no reaching them as these trees are 70-90 feet tall.  They are glorious trees and produce flowers with nectar that the honey bees love.

 

400X Sep 2020:Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives. Spikey pollen on top is ~62.5um. This is likely common thistle. Cirsium vulgare.

400X Sep 2020:Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives. These pollen are ~27.5 um .

 

1000X Sep 2020: Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives.

100X Sep 2020: Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives.

 

400X Sep 2020:Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives. The pollen on the right is ~40 um and one of the most common pollens seen collected by the bees during October. Is this star thistle-Centaurea sp?

400X Sep 2020:Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives. ~40 um. Prunella vulgaris also known as self-heal or brownwort?

 

400X Sep 2020:Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives. Lower right pollen is ~27.5um. I'm having trouble identifying this pollen.....I call it the 'peanut pollen'.

400X Sep 2020:Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives. Lower pollen that has a spikey surface is ~30 um. There are a number of aster pollens that are similar looking. Maybe this is hemp-Eupatorium sp or tickseed-Biden pilosa? Although there is elecampane all over the place surrounding the apiary and this very well may be that-Inula viscosa.

 

400X Sep 2020:Pollen collected and stained from the bottom board of one of my hives.

 

 

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