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.
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
Sweet Clover -------- Tan ------------------------  July through August
Fireweed -------------  Purple ---------------------July and August
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Southcentral Alaska Beekeepers Association
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