The study of Pollen and its role in the honey market Academic Article uri icon


  • Melissopalynology (the study ofpollen in honey) is an important tool in determining the geographical origin and floral sources upon which the bees foraged to produce honey. Each flower species has a unique pollen grain which, using proper techniques, may be studied to determine the geographical origin and major floral sources of the honey. For some areas of the world we have a number ofpollen atlases and photographic keys to pollen types (Europe, North Africa and USA) while other areas are deficient in pollen reference material necessary for a complete analysis and geographic origin. This has implications in the worldwide market when issues such as "transshipment", un(floral sources, and "honey laundering" (removal of all pollen grains) are addressed. A basic step-by-step process for sample preparation, counting methods, discussion offloral types that are over or under represented in honey samples and, the potential for value-added honey due to geographic origin, floral sources (e.g. manuka honey) or product uniqueness are examined. SEAsia,frequently the victim of transshipped honey (relabeling the country of origin), needs to build a pollen data base to assist melissopalynologists and maintain national pride in their own unique products.

author list (cited authors)

  • Petersen, S., & Bryant, V.

publication date

  • June 2011