Pollen charts

Found in Dorothy Hodges bee book The Pollen Loads of the Honeybee (Bee Research Association Limited, 1962) an attractive 'pollen load' chart over a dozen pages. Similar to a paint chart and showing a surprising variety..

The colour of the pollen load is the colour as it appears when the pollen arrives at the beehive. Bees mix dry pollen with nectar and/or honey to compact the pollen in the pollen basket. The pollen basket or corbicula is part of the tibia on the hind legs of certain species of bees. They use the structure in harvesting pollen and returning it to the nest or hive.

The honey or nectar is used by the bees to mix the dry pollen into a paste-like condition suitable for packing her pollen loads…  as Dorothy Hodges says 'this mixing of the pollen with liquid, either honey or nectar, or possibly a mixture of both, makes the colour of the honeybees pollen load quite different from the colour of the pollen alone as it is seen on the anther of the flower.' This photo of a  Squill flower seems to bely this as the pollen is clearly visible as a dark blue...

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