Pollen Trapping:

Keeping an eye on the pollen might help let us know what plants our bees are
visiting.  Some plants are good pollen producers and some don’t give the bees much
at all.   Depending on the needs of the hive the bees may spend a fair bit of time
gathering pollen instead of nectar.  Very often the pollen and nectar gathering go
hand in hand as both are necessary to the health of the hive.  Spring is a really good
time of year to trap some of the pollen that the bees are hauling in.  The trapped
pollen can be used to feed back to the bees in time of pollen deficiencies, eaten by
the family or sold on the health market.  There is a fair bit of evidence supporting the
healthful benefits of eating local pollen.  Ideally the best market for selling pollen to
people with sensitivities to the natural air born pollen is to sell them pollen before the
plants bloom and put the stuff in the air.  To do this a beekeeper must trap pollen,
date it and then freeze it for sale the following year.  Vacuum packing will give the
best chance of preserving the quality of your product. Watch the spring growth and
bring your pollen on the market a few weeks prior to the actual pollen bloom.  

Here are a few pollen types that show up in the hive.
Willow ----------------- Pale green ---------------- April and May
Dandelion -------------Bright Orange ----------- May and June
Labrador tea --------- White ---------------------  Mid June
Alaska Spirea -------- White ---------------------- June and July
Mountain Ash -------- Pale Green --------------- May
Alder ------------------ Tan ------------------------  May
Wild rose ------------- Greenish Grey ----------- June
White Clover --------- Olive Drab ---------------- May through September
Sweet Clover -------- Tan ------------------------  July through August
Fireweed ------------- Purple ---------------------- July and August
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Southcentral Alaska Beekeepers Association