University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Pollen characterization of English honey from Worcestershire, West Midlands (UK).

Adams-Groom, Beverley ORCID:, Martin, P. and Sierra Bañón, A.L. (2020) Pollen characterization of English honey from Worcestershire, West Midlands (UK). Bee World, 97 (2). pp. 53-56. ISSN Print: 2376-7618 Online: 2376-7618

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Beekeeping in England, United Kingdom, is very popular since much of the country has favourable habitats for honey production. Worcestershire county, in the West Midlands region, has habitats typical of much of the lowland regions of England, comprising a patchwork of pasture with small woodlands, orchards, gardens, meadows, hedgerows, riverbanks and arable crops including oilseed rape and field bean, amongst others. While most beekeepers keep bees as a hobby, commercial honey companies do derive some of their honey from this region, from both smaller and large-scale producers. Pollen surveys of honey are useful for several reasons: to help determine honeybee forage activities for honey producers; to provide information for honey analysts and to compare with earlier surveys to see if habitat and climate change are altering foraging habits, which may also help with bee conservation. In the United Kingdom, peer-reviewed surveys of bee forage and honeys have been quite limited (Balfour, Fensome, Samuelson, & Ratnieks, 2015) but there are good sources of information available to the beekeeper about the likely sources of pollen, such as Kirk and Howes (2012) or Hodges (1984). Although observing bee activity can indicate which plants the bees are using for their various requirements, it may not always be clear which plants are contributing directly to the honey. Furthermore, an empirical, peer-reviewed study of the pollen content of honey in England has not been conducted since 1952 when Deans (1957) analysed 854 honey samples from across the British Isles, including 14 samples from Worcester (110 from the Midlands). Two recent DNA studies have also provided data on the floral composition of eight Welsh honeys and one from the Isle of Wight (Hawkins et al., 2015) and one for the National Botanic Garden of Wales (de Vere et al., 2017). The aim of this research was to characterize the typical pollen content of honey from Worcestershire in the West Midlands region of England.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: beekeeping, England, Worcestershire, pollen, honey, West Midlands, pollen characterization, bee hives
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Beverley Adams-Groom
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2019 14:18
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2020 01:00

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