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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    137

    Default Weed pollen season, honeyflow, and late-summer dearth

    Expecting the honey flow in this area to end in a few weeks, I was pointed to weather.com's pollen count as a possible indicator. The only problem is, it's the opposite to what I might have expected.

    "For the Philadelphia area, the pollen count for Pollen season can vary from year to year depending on a variety of factors, including weather. Here's a snapshot of tree, grass, and weed pollen seasons for this location."
    Season --- Onset / Peak / End

    Tree --- Mid-March / Late-April / Mid-July
    Grass --- Mid-April / Mid-June / Mid-September
    Weed --- Early-July / Late-August / Mid-November

    I suppose it's not too much different in other areas.

    It seems the tree-pollen season matches the spring honeyflow. I don't see bees foraging from grass flowers, so we can disregard that. But what about weeds? What sorts of weeds contribute to the pollen count that people with allergies want to know about? And why don't those weeds carry the bees through the late-summer dearth?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Weed pollen season, honeyflow, and late-summer dearth

    It apperas that the information is too general to draw any corrulation from. In beekeeping though, a dearth is referring to nectar flow, not the lack of available pollen.
    As you have said, grasses are wind pollinated and do not produce nectar. The same is true for many weeds. Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.) is one of the worst pollens for people due to the shape of the pollen grains. It does not take a lot of pollen in the air to produce a histamine response when they are breathed in. The scale is designed for people, not bees. Many of these weed have no nectar, and poor quality (protiens) for bees.
    Several other factors will effect nectar production in the summer, for example lack of rainfall, density of plants, high heat, and high evaporative potential from sun intensity or dry air.

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