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Pollen analysis of New Zealand honey 2013-09-02

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New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research Volume 28, Issue 1, 1985

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A pollen analytical study of New Zealand honey provides a basis for identifying the origins of a honey in terms of locality and floral source: The information may be used to develop analytical standards for pollen, contributing to quahty control of a product offered for export or for the home market. General principles outlined by the International Commission for Bee Botany have been used as a guide, although in practice these are considerably modified. Samples were processed by acetolysis, and absolute pollen counts were obtained by spiking with a known number of Lycopodium spores. Most New Zealand honey falls within the “normal” category (20 000-100 000 pollen grains in a standard 10 g sample). Clover honey is in this category. Thyme honey with a pollen content less than 20 000 grams per 10 g sample, and manuka honey where the pollen content exceeds 100 000 grams, are examples of “under-represented” and “over represented” categories respectively. The analyses confirm the importance of white clover to apiarists, they provide details of characteristic pollen spectra for New Zealand honey, and draw attention to difficulties associated with assessing honey type by organoleptic criteria. Standards developed for New Zealand honey by pollen analysis should be flexible enough to accommodate changes as more data become available.

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