But is it really Sourwood?!

 

With 12 different apairy locations in East Tennessee, we keep each honey harvest separate. A sample from each harvest is sent to Texas A&M University. There, the pollen grains are identified and counted giving us a report of all the plants the bees have visited to produce that honey. This allows us to honestly label our honey. So, if it says Sourwood it really is!

 

Palynology Research Laboratory

Department of Anthropology

Texas A&M University

College Station, TX 77843-4352

(979) 845-5242 FAX (979) 845-4070

 

The Burns and The Bees August 2016 Pollen Analysis

 

   Pollen Taxa

Trifolium/Melilotus (Clover)                                                                             45%

Nyssa (Tupelo)                                                                                            11.9%

Acer (Maple)                                                                                                 7.4%

Rhus (Sumac)                                                                                               5.9%

Rosacea (Rose family)                                                                                   5.9%

Rubus (Blackberry, Dewberry)                                                                        5.9%

Cornus (Dogwood)                                                                                        4.5%

Plantago (Plantain)                                                                                        3.5%

Diospyros (Persimmon)                                                                                  2.0%

Apiaceae  (Carrot, Fennel)                                                                              1.0%

Castanea (Chestnut)                                                                                       1.0%

Magnolia                                                                                                       1.0%

Platanus (Sycamore)                                                                                       1.0%

Quercus (Oak)                                                                                               1.0%

Ranuncluaceae (Buttercup)                                                                             1.0%

Liriodendron (Tulip Poplar)                                                                             0.5%

Salix (Willow)                                                                                                0.5%

Tilia (Basswood)                                                                                            0.5%

 

“Based on the relative pollen counts in your honey it would be classified as a Unifloral Clover Honey composed of nectar and pollen from clover sources in the amount of 45%. Other important pollen and nectar sources in this honey sample include variety of plant types including maple, blackberry, tupelo, rose family and sumac. To be classified as a unifloral, honey must be dominated by one major pollen type with 45% of the total pollen coming from that source. Those are the usual standards put forth by the International Bee Commission. In addition to the clover and other main pollen and nectar sources, as you can see from the table, there are a number of other minor plant and nectar types represented in this honey. The pollen concentration value of over 104,000 pollen grains per 10 grams of honey places it in Category III, which is in the normal range for unifloral clover honey, but it is at the high end of most clover honey.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palynology Research Laboratory

Department of Anthropology

Texas A&M University

College Station, TX 77843-4352

(979) 845-5242 FAX (979) 845-4070

The Burns and The Bees July 2016 Pollen Analysis

   POLLEN TAXA

Rubus (Blackberry, Dewberry)                                             36.9%

Trifolium (Clover)                                                               23.6%

Rosaceae (Rose family)                                                      10.8%

Rhus (Sumac, etc.)                                                            10.3%

Acer (Maple)                                                                       4.9%

Cornus (Dogwood)                                                              2.5%

Nyssa (Gum)                                                                      2.5%

Diospyros (Persimmon)                                                        1.0%

Quercus (Oak)                                                                    1.0%

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)                                                  1.0%

Vitis (Grape)                                                                      1.0%

Asteraceae (Sunflower)                                                       0.5%

Ulmus (Elm)                                                                       0.5%

Magnolia (Magnolia)                                                           0.5%

Liriodendron (Tulip Poplar)                                                  0.5%

Impatiens (Touch-Me-Not)                                                  0.5%

Catalpa (Catawba)                                                             0.5%

“Based on the relative pollen counts in this honey, it would be classified as a multifloral wildflower honey composed mostly of nectar and pollen from several major sources including a variety of plant types including blackberry, rose family, sumac, maple and clover. In addition to those major pollen and nectar types there are a number of other minor plant and nectar types represented in this honey. The pollen concentration value of over 107,000 pollen grains per 10 grams of honey places it in Category III, which is very high for most of the honey produced in the United States.”

 

 

Honey Pollen Categories                                                                               Honey Pollen Concentration Categories

A= >45% predominant pollen type                                                                Category I 0-20,000/10 g

B= 16-45% secondary pollen type                                                                 Category II 20,000-100,000/10 g

C= 3-15% important minor pollen type                                                          Category III 100,000-500,000/10 g

D= <3% minor pollen type                                                                           Category IV 500,000-1,000,000/10 g

                                                                                                                 Category V over 1,000,000/10 g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palynology Research Laboratory

Department of Anthropology

Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843-4352

(979) 845-5242 FAX (979) 845-4070

The Burns and The Bees August 2015 Pollen Analysis

 

 

Pollen Taxa

 

Rubus (blackberry, dewberry)                                      50.2%

 

ROSACEAE (rose family)                                            12.4%

 

Trifolium/Melilotus (clover)                                         12.4%

 

Rhus /Toxicodendron (sumac, poison ivy)                   10.4%

 

Diospyros (persimmon)                                                 4.5%

 

Nyssa (gum)                                                                  2.0%

 

Juglans (walnut)                                                            1.0%

 

Liriodendron (tulip tree)                                               1.0%

 

Plantago (plantain)                                                        1.0%

 

Catalpa (catawba)                                                          0.5%

 

Ligustrum (privet)                                                         0.5%

 

Parthenocissus (Virginia creeper)                                 0.5%

 

Vitis (grape)                                                                  0.5%

 

Unknown pollen                                                           0.5%

 

 

Honey Pollen Categories

A= >45% predominant pollen type

B= 16-45% secondary pollen type

C= 3-15% important minor pollen type

D= <3% minor pollen type

 

 

Your honey sample would be classified as a Unifloral Blackberry Honey. According to the International Commission on Bee Botany when a honey contains more than 45% pollen and nectar from a single source, then it can be called a unifloral honey. As you can see, the main pollen and nectar contributor to this honey is blackberry pollen and nectar. In addition to that primary type you can see the sample also contains smaller percentages of clover, rose, mint, tupelo, tulip tree, and poison ivy/sumac pollen and nectar. The biggest problem with pollen in the rose family is that there are over 85 different genera and more than 3,000 different species in that family. This makes trying to identify the precise types often quite problematic. Each of those species produces a "unique" pollen type but ALL OF THE TYPES look extremely similar, which makes precise identification difficult without the higher resolution possible using a scanning electron microscope. For example Malus (apples) pollen and Crataegus (hawthorn) pollen look nearly identical and each genus contains a number of species each of which looks slightly different from the other species. Nevertheless, it does appear that some of your rose pollen could be coming from the genus Rosa, and either Crataegus and/or Malus, which would include varieties of crab apples as well as domestic apples.