Pollen Sources

     A good mix of nutritionally adequate pollens are needed for the production of strong, healthy, "fat" (stored nutrient reserves) bees.  Not all pollens are nutritious for honey bees.
Nutritious - Pollens from most deciduous fruit trees, lupine (in Australia), almond, clovers, pear, some gum (Eucalyptus) trees, buttercups (some are toxic to bees), Crocus, willows, wild radish, prune, apple , mustard, rape (canola), and poppies are supposed to be good.
Less nutritious - Elm, cottonwood, ash, pussy willow, dandelion, sweet corn, alfalfa (actually alfalfa pollen is nutritional, but honey bees don't like it).
Least nutritious - Air-borne pollens such as alder, hazel nut, ash, birch, poplar, field corn. Sunflower, eastern buckwheat, fireweed, blueberry, and weeping willow are not adequate nutrient sources.
Especially poor - Pine, spruce, fir, and cedars.


[edit]Trees and shrubs - Spring

Common nameLatin nameBlooming monthsPollen colorAvailabilitySource for honeybees
MapleAcer spp.Feb - Aprlight yellowferalfair
Manitoba Maple(Box elder)Acer negundoFeb - Aprlight oliveferalgood
Norway mapleAcer platanoidesApr - Mayyellow green, oliveferalfair
Red MapleAcer rubrumMar - Aprgrey brownferal
Grey AlderAlnus incanaFeb - Aprbrownish yellowferal
American ChestnutCastanea dentataMay - Junmostly ornamental
Sweet ChestnutCastanea sativaMayferalgood
Common HackberryCeltis occidentalisApr - Mayferal
Flowering QuinceChaenomeles japonicaChaenomeles lagenariaChaenomeles speciosa 'Nivalis'Chaenomeles x superbaApr - Mayferalgood
American HazelCorylus americanaMar - Aprlight greenferal and ornamentalfair/good
HawthornCrataegus spp.Apr - Mayyellow brownferalfair
White AshFraxinus americanaApr - May
Honey LocustGleditsia triancanthosMay - Junferal
American hollyIlex opacaApr - Junferal
WalnutJuglans spp.Apr - Maycultivatedfair
Tulip-treeLirodendron tulipiferaMay - Juncreamferal and ornamentalgood
Crab AppleMalus spp.Mar - Junlight oliveornamental
AppleMalus domestica, Malus sylvestrisApr - Mayyellow whitecultivated and ornamentalvery good
American SycamorePlatanus occidentalisApr - Maylight oliveferal
PlumPrunus spp.Apr - Maylight grey, greyornamental and cultivated
AlmondPrunus amygdalusFeblight brown to brown pollen - not considered a good pollen source but bees are the primary pollinatorcultivated mostly in Californiafair
Wild CherryPrunus aviumApr - Mayyellow brown, light brownferalvery good
Cherry PlumPrunus cerasiferalight brown to brownferalfair
Sour CherryPrunus cerasusApr - Maydark yellowornamental and cultivatedvery good
PeachPrunus persicaApr - Mayreddish yellowornamental and cultivatedgood
Black CherryPrunus serotinaApr - Mayferalminor
BlackthornPrunus spinosaferalgood
PearPyrus communisApr - Mayred yellowornamental and cultivatedgood
OakQuercus spp.Mayferal
OakQuercus roburQuercus pedunculataMaylight oliveferalminor
Black LocustRobinia pseudoacaciaMay - Junferal
BlackberryRubus spp.May - Junlight greyferal and cultivated
RaspberryRubus idaeusMay - Junwhite greyferal and cultivatedgood
WillowSalix spp.Feb - Aprlemonferalgood
White WillowSalix albaferalgood
Goat WillowSalix capreaMar - Aprferalvery good
Violet WillowSalix daphnoidesMar - Aprferalvery good
Pussy WillowSalix discolorMar - Aprferal and ornamental
Basket WillowSalix purpureaMar - Aprferalvery good
Silky leaf osier, Smith's WillowSalix x smithianaApr - Mayvery good
American mountain ashSorbus americanaMay-Junferal
American ElmUlmus americanaFeb - Aprlight greyferal
Winged ElmUlmus alataFeb - Marpale yellowferalgood
Europea field elmUlmus americanaferalgood

Flowers and annual crop plants - Spring

Common nameLatin nameBlooming monthsPollen colorAvailabilitySource for honeybees
Ajuga (Bronze Bugle, Common Bugle)Ajuga reptansmid spring
ChivesAllium schoenoprasumMay - Sepcultivated?
AsparagusAsparagus officinalisMay - Junbright orangecultivated
MustardBrassica arvenisiApr - Maylemoncultivated and feral
CanolaBrassica napusMay - Junlemonextensively cultivatedvery good
Yellow CrocusCrocus vernus (syn. Crocus aureus)Aprilorange yellowferal and ornamentalfair
Leopard's BaneDoronicum cordatumApr - May
Winter aconiteEranthis hyemalisMar - Apryellowferal and ornamentalgood
SnowdropGalanthus nivalisMar - Aprorange, redfair
HenbitLamium amplexicauleAprilorange red, red, purplish redApr - Julpoor
White Sweet CloverMelilotus albaMay - Augyellow to dark yellowferal and cultivatedgood
Yellow Sweet CloverMelilotus officinalisMay - Augyellow to dark yellowferal and cultivated
SainfoinOnobrychis viciifoliaMay - Julyellow brownvery good
Siberian squillScilla sibiricaMar - Aprsteel blueferal and ornamentalgood
White mustardSinapis albaJunelemonferal and cultivatedgood
Chick weedStellaria mediaApr - Julyellowishferalminor
DandelionTaraxacum officinaleApr - Mayred yellow, orangeferalvery good


[edit]Trees and shrubs - Summer

Common nameLatin nameBlooming monthsPollen colorAvailabilitySource for honeybees
Red Horse chestnutAesculus carnearaisin [3]feral
Horse chestnutAesculus hippocastanumMay - Jun after 80-110 growing degree days.anatolia [3]feralgood
Southern CatalpaCatalpa bignonioidesJun - Julornamentalfair
Northern CatalpaCatalpa speciosaJun - Julornamental
BluebeardCaryopteris x clandonensis 'Heavenly Blue'Aug - Sepvery good
Virginia creeperParthenocissus quinquefoliaJul - Auggood
Boston Ivy 'Veitchii'Parthenocissus tricuspidata 'Veitchii'Jun - Julgood
SumacRhus glabraJun - Jul
ElderSambucus canadensisJun - Julcanary yellow [3]
Basswood or American LindenTilia americanaJun - Julyellow to light orangeferal and ornamental
Little Leaf LindenTilia cordatacitrine [3]feral
BlueberryVaccĂ­nium myrtĂ­llusJunred yellow, orangecultivatedpoor

[edit]Flowers and annual crop plants - Summer

Common nameLatin nameBlooming monthsPollen colorAvailabilitySource for honeybees
AlliumAllium spp.feral and cultivated
OnionAllium cepalight olivecultivated
ChivesAllium schoenoprasumMay - Sepferal and cultivated
Garlic chivesAllium tuberosaAug - Sepferal and cultivated
Leadwort syn. IndigobushAmorpha fruticosaJun - Julornamental?
AsterAster spp.Sep-Frostreddish yellowferal and ornamental
Land-in-blue, Bushy AsterAster x dumosusAug - Sepbronze yellow [3]feral
BorageBorago officinalisJun - Frostblueish greyornamental
MarigoldCalendula officinalisJun - Seporange
Heather sp.Calluna vulgarisJul - Augyellow white, whitegood
HempCannabis sativaAugyellow greengood source
Blue ThistleCarduus spp.
Star thistleCentaurea spp.Jul - Sep
Persian centaureaCentaurea dealbatahemp [3]
KnapweedCentaurea macrocephalaJul - Auggood
KnapweedCentaurea nigravery light olive
ChicoryCichorium intybus L.white
CotoneasterCotoneaster spp.good
CucumberCucumis spp.pale yellowcultivated
MelonsCucumis meloJun-Frostpale yellowcultivated
PumpkinCucurbita pepoJun-Frostbright yellowcultivated
FireweedEpilobium angustifoliumJul - Augblueferal
Joe-Pye weed, BluestemEutrochium spp.; Eupatorium purpureumAug - Sepbistre green
BuckwheatFagopyrum esculentumJul - Auglight yellow to light greencultivatedgood source
Blue vineGonolobus laevis syn. Cynanchum laeve
SunflowerHelianthus annuusJun - Sepgoldenferal and cultivated
JewelweedImpatients capensisyellowish white
AlyssumLobularia maritimaJun - Sep
LupinLupinus sp.Jun - Julwhite, yellow or blueminor
MallowMalva alceaJun - Sep
AlfalfaMedicago sativaJuly - Augkhaki [3]feral and cultivated
CloverMelilotus spp. and Trifolium spp.May - Augferal and cultivated
White Sweet CloverMelilotus albaauburn [3]feral and cultivated
Yellow Sweet CloverMelilotus officinalisauburn [3]feral and cultivated
BasilOcimum basilicumornamental
PoppyPapaver orientaleMay - Julblueish greyornamental onlygood source[4]
PoppyPapaver somniverumMay - Jungreyferal and ornamentalvery good source
PhaceliaPhacelia tanacetifoliaJun - Sepnavy blueferal and cultivatedgood source
SmartweedPolygonum spp.Aug - Sep
Common ChickweedStellaria mediaApr - Julminor source
GermanderTeucrium chamaedrysJul - Aug
Alsike CloverTrifolium hybridumyellow browngood source
Crimson CloverTrifolium incarnatumdark brown
White CloverTrifolium repensJun - Julcaledonian browngood source
Cat-tailTypha latifoliaJun - Jul
Common vetch[verification needed]Vicia craccaJul - Aug
Spring Vetch[verification needed]Vicia sativaJul - Aug
Sweet CornZea maysJun - Julyellowish whitecultivated


[edit]Trees and shrubs - Fall

Common nameLatin nameBlooming monthsPollen colorAvailabilitySource for honeybees
Chinese Elm, Lacebark ElmUlmus parvifoliaAug - Sepornamentalgood

[edit]Flowers and annual crop plants - Fall

Common nameLatin nameBlooming monthsPollen colorAvailabilitySource for honeybees
AsterAster spp.Sep-Frostreddish yellow
BorageBorago officinalisJun - Frost
MelonsCucumis meloJun-Frostcultivated
Sweet autumn clematisClematis ternifolialate Septwhiteornamental
PumpkinCucurbita pepoJun-Frostbright yellowcultivated
IvyHedera spp.Sep - Octdull yellow or black?feral and ornamental
GoldenrodSolidago spp.Sep - Octgoldenferal

Source: Wikipedia


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