Posted by: Kate | April 19, 2010

Golden Granules of Glory

During the past few years, many customers at the farmer’s market have occasionally asked us about local pollen.  There are many stories, remedies, and folklore regarding the use of bee pollen to relieve and even cure seasonal allergy symptoms. It is said that pollen is a remarkable energy restoration and weight loss supplement. This year we decided to try our hand at harvesting it. It is surprisingly exciting! We check the tray every day to see what different colors have been brought in that morning.

We have nearly 100 pollen traps that have been sitting and collecting dust in a shed. Jack Booth used to trap pollen and sell it at local health food stores before he retired from beekeeping.

Keith’s dad Rick, cleaned 10 of the traps up and replaced the old cloth baskets that hold the pollen.

The traps use 3 layers of screens inside of the entrance. The bees must go through the entrance of the trap and climb up through the layered screens. This dislodges the pollen from the bees’ legs and the pollen pellets fall into the cloth collection basket at the bottom of the trap.

This is what the collection basket looked like just 3 hours after we installed the trap. We assume these pollen pellets have been collected from Valley Oak, Lavender, Storks Bill, Wild Radish, Mustard, Willow, and possibly dozens of other plants.

The pollen ranges in color from gold to orange to bright purple. We are having fun figuring out which flowers the different colors come from. Look for fresh, local pollen at the Farmers Market in mid May!

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