Pollen Identification Gallery for Hobby Beekeepers

ian Honey Bee Forage, Microscopy

Pollen Identification Gallery for Hobby Beekeepers

The aim of this blog is to explain and provide access to our Pollen Identification Gallery.  The gallery is essentially a set of photographs of my collection of pollen reference slides, together with a description of their key features.

Click on the image below or click here to go to the Pollen Gallery.

What is the purpose of this Pollen Identification Gallery ?

I set up this gallery to provide a simple method of identifying pollen by comparing with reference images and looking for distinctive features.

Which pollens are included in the Gallery ?

The aim was to collect pollen reference samples from the following sources: –

  • Plants in flower, within foraging range of my bees in rural Northumberland.
  • Plants which were representative of the main plant families but were not necessarily growing nearby.
  • Specific pollen I wanted to be able to identify. Like Rhododendron and Himalayan Balsam.

So far, I have managed to create a gallery of almost 90 pollen samples.  It is still work in progress and there are a number I would like to add to my collection in future.  However, even this list has helped me to identify and learn the distinctive ones.  It also can give a good indication of at least the family of the more difficult ones.

Why not just use Rex Sawyer’s Key ?

Rex Sawyer’s Pollen Identification for beekeepers book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand pollen.  It defines the vocabulary for the features of pollen, and establishes the recognised Pollen Identification key.

Our pollen gallery attempts to provide some quality colour images and describe the distinctive features in words.


This Pollen Identification Gallery is essentially a photographic catalogue of my pollen reference slides.  It provides a way of making a visual comparison and describes distinctive features in words.

Anyone studying for the pollen microscopy part of the BBKA Microscopy module may find this useful.

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  1. Hi Ian

    This is a lovely piece of work. The photos of the pollens are excellent. The descriptions are very useful too.

  2. I’ve just treated my self to your recommended book on pollen –
    Thank you for the link .
    Great blog – really great pointers as where to go for help and guidance full of common sense. Ty

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