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CDROM1.  Pollen Identification for Beekeepers. An Illustrated Key to accompany Rex Sawyer's Book.

Acknowledgments. We are indebted to a number of people who contributed in various ways to this work, indeed without the generous assistance we have received, completion would have been very difficult.

Our thanks are due to the BBKA who made the Rex Sawyer collection of micro slides available to us and where these have been used the micrograph has been labeled ‘RS coll’. Dr William Kirk of Keele University made available his expertise and collection of micro slides as did Dr Jane Bunting of Hull University . Thanks are also due to Dr David Aston for his valuable advice, John Annett for his sterling work checking the list of plant species, Anne Spencer and a number of members of Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers’ Association who loaned their micro slides, Mr. Yousef Sulliman of Kuwait and Mr. Les Wells of Harrogate High School who contributed initial technical advice.

We would like to thank Professor Robert Pickard for allowing us to use Rex Sawyer’s data base for the core of this CD ROM.

It was in fact Rex Sawyer’s book which was the inspiration for this work and who in his Pollen Identification For Beekeepers published several decades ago, mentioned the likely use of computer technology for this purpose. As beekeepers we all owe a debt of gratitude to Rex. Originally the book was published with a set of punched cards. It is unlikely that these cards will be reprinted, hence our interest in replacing them with computer technology.

Technical. We used a Nikon ‘coolpix’ 5000 digital camera and a Nikon microscope to photograph the micro slides. All the photographs except one were taken using a x40 lens – the sort of magnification that most beekeeping microscopists would use. Some slides in the Sawyer collection at the BBKA are on their ‘last legs’ and will be of little use after a few more years. Some of the slides in the Hull collection were prepared for use by archeologists – hence their lack of contents.

Pollen sizes are given in micrometers ( m m). (1 micrometer equals 1 thousandth of a millimeter.) These figures are given as a rough guide only as the staining and other processes can cause a change in shape or size of the pollen. Colour is mainly due to the stain that was applied but in some cases, where the pollen grains required greater definition, then digital enhancement has been employed.

We hope you enjoy our collection of photos and find the spreadsheet a useful aid in identifying pollen.

(CDROM requires a computer and Microsoft Excel or equivalent)

£16.00 inc UK PP
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Windows Pollen Identification for Beekeepers

Instructions For Use. This disc will run with Windows '95, '98, 2000 and XP. It will also open on Apple-Mac. You need Microsoft Excel or equivalent to run the spreadsheet.

The disc was prepared using ‘Windows XP’. Depending on your computer the disc may open automatically or you may need to go to ‘my computer’ and open the disc from that location (Drive D) Double click on ‘CD Pollen 2005’

Then double click on ‘Pollen-Sawyer’s Spreadsheet”

By using ‘AutoFilter’ it is possible to gradually refine your search until you are down to a few possibilities.

Click on the highlighted hyperlink to display a photo of that particular pollen.

Using AutoFilter. Click in the top left cell of the work sheet and this will highlight the whole sheet.

Go to Data in the menu, Filter, AutoFilter (click).

On the down arrows click the column(s) that you have data for (e.g. Size). Pick one of the options and the programme will sort the data for you. Go to a second column and sort on different parameters.

Once you have narrowed the field make a note of the possibilities and return to the main spreadsheet by selecting Data, Filter, AutoFilter and click the switch off.

Check your pollen samples against the hyperlinked pictures or with Sawyer’s photographs in the book.

John Chandler and Dave Rennison
Autumn 2005.