2 responses

  1. jody
    July 27, 2010

    Is there any concern about where the bees get the pollen from? For example, if the soil is full of lead and bees get pollen from flowers that grow in that soil, does the pollen contain any amount of lead?

    Does the quality of honey (via pollen) differ between bees from a city and those in the country?

  2. Phillip
    July 27, 2010

    I was concerned about that too. There is so much lead in urban soil and so many flowers growing in that leaded soil, will the lead eventually show up in the pollen and subsequently the honey?

    No. At least I haven’t found any research that speaks of lead content in flowers and pollen.

    Honeybees do better in urban areas, though, because there is more biodiversity within cities compared to mono-culture rural areas where single-crop fields are usually sprayed with loads more pesticides than anything found in cities.

    So even if there is some lead in urban soil, the amounts that make it into the honey, if any, are probably negligible. Bees have been dealing with lead, a naturally occurring compound, for millions of years; I suspect they know how to filter most of it away. It’s not the same for pesticides.

    The character of the honey is always affected by the pollen source. Honey made from citrus pollen is apparently delicious. But it’s all good to me.

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