Influence of changes in crop cultivation areas on pollen contents of honey (Research Note)

  • A.-L. VARIS


Pollen counts were done on honey collected by a Finnish honey corporation in late summer 1997 from the entire beekeeping area of Finland. The most common pollen type was Brassicaceae pollen, which was represented by 60% of the grains counted. It was followed by Salix spp. (10%), Trifolium repens + T. hybridum (10%) and T. pratense + T. medium (6.5%) species. Pollen grains of Phacelia spp, Filipendula ulmaria, Apiaceae, Sorbus aucuparia, Malus domestica, and Rubus idaeus were also numerous. These pollen types constituted 96% of all the pollen examined. These results and those of the earlier pollen counts in Finland were compared with the cultivation areas of the most important nectariferous crops. In the 1930s white clover was the most important honey source in Finland and its pollen was very dominant in honey. Since the 1950s oilseed crops have been grown in increasing rates and pure timothy-meadow fescue pastures and hay stands with heavy N applications have decreased the share of Trifolium species. The proportion of Brassicaceae pollen has continuously increased with the increase of the growing area of turnip rape Brassica rapa ssp. oleifera and rape, B. napus ssp. oleifera. At the same time the proportion of T. repens + T. hybridum pollen has decreased so that their mutual relationships are now reversed compared to the beginning of the 1960s. Changes in land use were thus very clearly to be seen in the pollen content of honey.;


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Dec 4, 2008
How to Cite
VARIS, A.-L. (2008). Influence of changes in crop cultivation areas on pollen contents of honey (Research Note). Agricultural and Food Science, 9(3), 253-258.