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The R-values of honey: Pollen coefficients


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One of the goals of melissopalynology is to determine the floral sources utilized by honeybees in the production of honey. Be-cause some types of commercial honey are preferred over others, the preferred types are in high demand and are sold at much higher prices. Verification of these preferred (premium) types of honey is often difficult because many of them come from plant sources that are either weak pollen producers or have pollen that is under-represented in honey. In an effort to verify these premium honey types, researchers developed various methods for correcting the pollen data. These methods produce what are known as pollen coefficient (PC) values. Pollen coefficient values are used to verify honey types produced from floral sources that are over or under-represented in the relative pollen counts of a honey sample. We examine the historical development of PC values, the reliabil-ity of PC data, the flaws inherent in the development of various types of PC data, and the steps needed to formulate new types of PC values that would become universally accepted for the verifi-cation of honey types.
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... This filtration process is particularly efficient with large pollen grains, which consequently tend to be underrepresented in honeys. Altogether, we can thus reconstruct the expected quantities of pollen present in the nectar from specific floral sources, and accordingly classify melliferous species into hyperrepresented (large quantities of pollen expected in the nectar), hypo-represented (low quantities of pollen expected), and normally-represented (Bryant and Jones 2001). ...
The aim of this chapter is to provide an up-to-date review of the contribution of palynology to the reconstruction of the exploitation of ancient beekeeping and bee-products. After having introduced the reader to some of the main concepts in the palynology of bee-products (§2), the available evidence from Europe and the Mediterranean basin will be presented and discussed (§3). In the concluding section (§4) the palynological approach to ancient bee-products will be conceptualized, and its limits and potentials further discussed.
... Honey is a sweet and viscous liquid produced by bees (Apis mellifera) from plants nectar [1] that is used as a natural food [2,3]. Honey has many complex compounds that are related to botanical and geographical origin, climatic conditions at harvest, climate conditions of the region and beekeeping management, specifically during honey harvest and storage [4]. ...
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Adulteration of honey is a major problem in the world, due to its high nutritional value and the expensive cost of honey. Thus, the quality of honey produced in different regions must be assessed to protect the rights of consumers. The study aims to investigate the physicochemical (hydroxymethylfurfural: HMF, moisture, ash, electrical conductivity, pH, total acidity, diastase activity, and reduction sugar), and microbiological (clostridium perfringens, molds, and osmotolerant yeasts) parameters of 43 honey samples. All the honey samples were collected from Qazvin province, Iran. Our results demonstrate that pH and acidity values in all of the honey samples were in the accepted limit and other physicochemical parameters include HMF (44.18%), reduction sugar (9.30%), moisture (2.32%), sucrose (53.48%), diastase activity (58.13%), fructose/glucose ratio (25.58%), electrical conductivity (9.30%) and ash (4.65%) were below the acceptable quality level. All the honey samples were in the acceptable range in terms of microbial quality (yeast, fungi and, Clostridia). All the honey samples are within expected microbial levels but in non-standard physicochemical conditions. Our results indicate that you can use fast, inexpensive and safe tests for identifying the adulteration in a variety of honeys (commercial and non-commercial). These measurements should be widely practiced by governmental organizations determine a fair and reasonable price for each product.
... To allow for these considerations we placed the proportion of DNA sequence reads and pollen counts into four broad abundance classes matching the classifications used in melissopalynology (predominant, secondary, important minor and minor) and focus our analyses and conclusions on changes in the frequency of occurrence of the major taxa, classed as predominant and secondary. Both methods capture information on both nectar and pollen plants within the honey, however, certain species can be over or under represented in pollen analysis compared to their relative nectar contribution 49 . Both pollen and nectar plants are required to meet the foraging requirements of pollinators. ...
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Decreasing floral resources as a result of habitat loss is one of the key factors in the decline of pollinating insects worldwide. Understanding which plants pollinators use is vital to inform the provision of appropriate floral resources to help prevent pollinator loss. Using a globally important pollinator, the honeybee, we show how changes in agricultural intensification, crop use and the spread of invasive species, have altered the nectar and pollen sources available in the UK. Using DNA metabarcoding, we analysed 441 honey samples from 2017 and compared these to a nationwide survey of honey samples from 1952. We reveal that shifts in major plants foraged by honeybees are driven by changes in the availability of these plants within the landscape. Improved grasslands are the most widespread habitat type in the UK, and management changes within this habitat have the greatest potential to increase floral resource availability.
... As an example, electrical conductivity, sugar, and moisture content, among other parameters, have been studied to identify differences between seasonal Maltese honey [10]. A frequently employed method for honey authentication verification is melissopalynology [11], however, weak pollen flower producers and variations in both honeybees and pollen grain size may result in under-representation of pollen [12]. On a different note, research has also indicated that honey of different geographical origin can be classified based on the variations in the amino acid ratios [13]. ...
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The price of honey, as a highly consumed natural product, depends on its botanical source and its production environment, causing honey to be vulnerable to adulteration through mislabeling and inappropriate, fraudulent production. In this study, a fast and simple approach is proposed to tackle this issue through non-target one dimensional zg30 and noesypr1d 1H NMR fingerprint analysis, in combination with multivariate data analysis. Results suggest that composition differences in sugars, amino acids, and carboxylic acid were sufficient to discriminate between the tested honey of Maltese origin and that of non-local origin. Indeed, all chemometric models based on noesypr1d analysis of the whole fraction honey showed better prediction in geographical discrimination. The possibility of discrimination was further investigated through analysis of the honey’s phenolic extract composition. The partial least squares models were deemed unsuccessful to discriminate, however, some of the linear discriminant analysis models achieved a prediction accuracy of 100%. Lastly, the best performing models of both the whole fraction and the phenolic extracts were tested on five samples of unknown geographic for market surveillance, which attained a high agreement within the models. Thus, suggesting the use of non-target 1H NMR coupled with the multivariate-data analysis and machine learning as a potential alternative to the current time-consuming analytical methods.
... Accurately assessing the local forage is especially critical when attempting to collect a monofloral or "varietal" honey (Campbell & Fearns, 2018) which is derived primarily from the nectar of a single species (Bryant & Jones, 2001). Beekeepers in Appalachia have met with some success marketing varietal honeys derived from particular species of melliferous trees (Mattise, 2014); however, site selection may be hindered by the challenge of negotiating access to remote sites with limited knowledge of the available forage. ...
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Beekeepers in Appalachia market varietal honeys derived from particular species of deciduous trees; however, finding places in a mountainous landscape to locate new beeyards is difficult. Site selection is hindered by the high up-front costs of negotiating access to remote areas with limited knowledge of the available forage. Remotely sensed data and species distribution modeling (SDM) of trees important to beekeepers could aid in locating apiary sites at the landscape scale. The objectives of this study are i) using publicly available forest inventory data, to model the spatial distribution of three native tree species that are important to honey producers in eastern Kentucky: American Basswood, Sourwood and Tulip Poplar, and to assess the accuracy of the models, ii) to incorporate a method for discounting the value of a nectar resource as a function of distance based on an energetic model of honeybee foraging, and iii) to provide an example by ranking potential apiary locations around the perimeter of a mine site in the study area based on their proximity to probable species habitat using a GIS model. Logistic regression models were trained using presence-absence records from 1,059 USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) sub-plots distributed throughout a 9,000 km2 portion of the Kentucky River watershed. The models were evaluated by applying them to a separate dataset, 950 forest inventory sub-plots distributed over a 40.5 km2 research forest maintained by the University of Kentucky. Weights derived from an energic model of honeybee foraging were then applied to the probabilities of tree species occurrence predicted by the SDM. As an example, 24 potential apiary locations around the perimeter of a reclaimed mine site were selected and then ranked according to a site suitability index. Three tributary areas corresponding to different honeybee flight ranges were considered: 500m, 700m, and 1,200m. Results confirm that rankings are dependent on the foraging range considered, suggesting that the number of colonies at an apiary location would be an important factor to consider when choosing a site. However, the methodology makes assumptions that are only anecdotally supported, notably i) that colonies will forage preferentially at the target species when it is in bloom and, ii) that foragers will exhaust resources closest to the hive first, regardless of patch size. Additional study of how bees deplete the nectar resources surrounding an apiary is needed to verify the usefulness of SDM in site selection for varietal honey production. KEYWORDS: precision apiculture, apiary site selection, habitat suitability modeling, species distribution modeling, Tilia americana, Apis melifera, forest inventory analysis.
... › Para una interpretación correcta del origen botánico, es necesario tener en cuenta las características sensoriales y fisicoquímicas de la miel, y en algunos casos el número absoluto de granos de polen obtenido en el análisis cuantitativo. Otras fuentes de variabilidad del contenido polínico de la miel como el enriquecimiento secundario, terciario y cuaternario (Bryant & Jones 2001, Jones & Bryant 2004) requieren cautela en la interpretación de los resultados. APLICACIÓN DEL ANÁLISIS POLÍNICO. ...
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Libro de técnicas de laboratorio para análisis de mieles de abejas.
Honey adulteration and fraud presents considerable economic challenges for most countries due to the pressure it adds to local honey producers who are often outcompeted by international producers. International standards and analytical measures for the authentication of honeys have been developed and standardised, however every country is responsible to establish their own tailored national benchmarks. These benchmarks can only be developed if a sufficient base of prior research has been established. Melissopalynology is an excellent tool for the botanical or geographical origin authentication of honeys, and despite there being several types of melissopalynological studies done, a conceptual framework to organise the outcomes of these studies is yet to be investigated. In this review, the melissopalynological research for 54 African countries was collected and the following recorded: the sample size of the study, the melissopalynological methods used, and the general melissopalynological outcomes. The previously mentioned data were analysed to develop a framework by which the most efficient melissopalynological research can be done, with the aim of the outcomes to be incorporated into the honey testing industry. This review provides a detailed analysis of the melissopalynological methods used, the relationship of the outcomes of each study to the development of the field, and suggestions for future research for 54 African countries.
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A focus of research in recent years is the comparison of honey as the final product of bees with pollen and nectar of the plant from which the honey originates, as the main food source for bees. Buckwheat honey is recognized as a nutritionally valuable product, which provides a scientifically proven health benefit and is confirmed as a functional food. The quality of this type of honey is attributed to high levels of phytochemicals in buckwheat. The purpose of this study was the examination of similarity between buckwheat honey and buckwheat nectar and pollen, as well as simultaneous investigation of their chemical profiles and the origin of the honey. The phenolic profile of buckwheat pollen showed a lower number of flavonoids and phenolic acids than those of nectar and honey samples, but confirmed the presence of the most characteristic polyphenols derived from the buckwheat plant. The notable difference was found to be the presence of (epi)catechin units, its galloylated derivatives and procyanidin dimers, which were not present in honey. Honey polyphenols displayed a pronounced correlation with those of nectar, but not with those of pollen. Finally, by comparing the polyphenolic profiles of honey, nectar and pollen sharing the same geographical origin, new data could be provided for a potential assessment of the botanical origin of buckwheat honey.
Melissopalynological studies are useful to determine the floral contents and geographical origin of honey samples. The great botanical diversity in the Amazon allows bees to produce honey that is highly valuable in Peruvian culture. However, pollen analyses and labels that provide information on honey contents are scarce; therefore, people do not know what types of honey they are consuming and paying for, especially when many Amazonian honeys are traditionally referred to as being monofloral honey types with medicinal properties. For this reason, we conducted a melissopalynological study to evaluate the pollen content of 14 honey samples from lowland and highland regions of the Peruvian Amazon. A total of 40 pollen types from 28 families were identified and most of the samples were multifloral. Pollen from Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Citrus were very frequent in the samples while Myrciaria dubia, Trema and Paullinia were frequently found in the samples. Pollen from Bombax, Gouania and Mimosa were infrequent within the samples. Pollen concentration class values per 10 g of honey varied from very rich to very poor and a low index of similarity in pollen content was observed between the samples, but there was a higher similarity between samples that came from the same region. Most of the identified floral sources in the honey are related to taxa that are traditionally used for medicinal purposes. The bioactive compounds of the nectar of these plants may be producing the ‘healthier’ properties that people associate with Amazonian honeys in Peru. This pollen study provides important information on the floral source preferences of bees and on honey contents, which can be used by traditional beekeepers and the public in general. Melissopalynological analyses are also useful for promoting the production and consumption of high-quality local honeys from the Peruvian Amazon.
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Introduced plants may be important foraging resources for honey bees and wild pollinators, but how often and why pollinators visit introduced plants across an entire plant community is not well understood. Understanding the importance of introduced plants for pollinators could help guide management of these plants and conservation of pollinator habitat. We assessed how floral abundance and pollinator preference influence pollinator visitation rate and diversity on 30 introduced versus 24 native plants in central New York. Honey bees visited introduced and native plants at similar rates regardless of floral abundance. In contrast, as floral abundance increased, wild pollinator visitation rate decreased more strongly for introduced plants than native plants. Introduced plants as a group and native plants as a group did not differ in bee diversity or preference, but honey bees and wild pollinators preferred different plant species. As a case study, we then focused on knapweed (Centaurea spp.), an introduced plant that was the most preferred plant by honey bees, and that beekeepers value as a late‐summer foraging resource. We compared the extent to which honey bees versus wild pollinators visited knapweed relative to coflowering plants, and we quantified knapweed pollen and nectar collection by honey bees across 22 New York apiaries. Honey bees visited knapweed more frequently than coflowering plants and at a similar rate as all wild pollinators combined. All apiaries contained knapweed pollen in nectar, 86% of apiaries contained knapweed pollen in bee bread, and knapweed was sometimes a main pollen or nectar source for honey bees in late summer. Our results suggest that because of diverging responses to floral abundance and preferences for different plants, honey bees and wild pollinators differ in their use of introduced plants. Depending on the plant and its abundance, removing an introduced plant may impact honey bees more than wild pollinators.
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