Pollen

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Pollen analysis – Pollen database

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Pollen Blütenhonig

Honey carries its botanical and geographical fingerprint in the form of pollen grains present within itself. This makes it possible to trace the honey to the region and plants it came from using pollen analysis. 

The different types of pollen are systematically recorded in our pollen database (PONET), categorised and documented with pictures. As a result, they can be used for comparisons in pollen analysis at any time.

 

 

Project PONET

Project PONET

The project "Pollendatenbank PONET– Erweiterung des Datenbestandes am Institut für Bienenkunde" (Extension of PONET - the pollen database of the Institute for Apiculture) had the following objectives:

Fulfilling requirements with regards to pollen analysis for

  • The apiculture sector (pollen analysis as part of honey-quality programmes), 
  • Test and research work (e.g. bee poisoning, food sources for bees), 
  • AGES Food Division (determining the botanical and regional origin of bee products, especially honey),
  • Adapting, restructuring and consolidating the existing database structure and data pool in terms of user-friendliness.

Synopsis of the results

The PONET pollen database of the Institute for Apiculture of the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety GmbH (AGES) is a way of categorising pollen based on the catalogue of characteristics by Vorwohl (1968) on the basis of modern pollen description in the field of apiculture and honey. Using this numeric method based on a number of different  characteristics makes it possible to develop a database and edit data and make electronic queries based on objective measurements.

This, in combination with the images of categorised pollen types from PONET, reduces the number of times access is required to the collection of comparators significantly, resulting in considerable time savings and an increase in efficiency on a practical level.
Thus, PONET supports the rational, pollen analytical processing in various subject fields that are of relevance to beekeeping (e.g. food sources; bee protection; GMO issues; labelling of types of honey), agriculture (e.g. pollination) and consumers (food safety, fraud protection: determining the botanical and geographical origin of honey and pollen).

The PONET data pool includes

  • 800 "complete data sets" -- i.e. the database contains images on pollen habitus and details, in addition to the morphologic structure of the pollen grains; 
  • 1760 "incomplete data sets" that can be divided into 728 categorised pollen types without images and 1032 existing, microscopic specimens that have not been categorised to date; 
  • 3356 "recorded types of pollen" the appropriate plant samples of which do exist in parts, but have not been processed to date or that have been included in the database as important food sources for bees, being named elements of the flora in specific geographical regions.

The 800 complete data sets in PONET to date were classified into groups according to “local” and “foreign” species in a separate evaluation based on the book "Exkursionsflora von Österreich" (Adler et al., 1994). A total of 278 pollen types could be defined as indicator pollens of foreign origins, while 522 pollen types were listed as local (autochthonous or established neophytes or plants from areas used for horticultural purposes). 751 of the 1760 incomplete data sets could be classified as indicator pollens for plants with foreign origin. The remaining 1005 data sets in this group represent plants that are part of the local flora. The last extension stage reached by the end of the project provided a solid foundation for pollen analysis, primarily with regards to regulations on the botanical, regional or topographical origin of honey. It is necessary to continue this work to close any gaps in the data pool and be prepared for future needs and tasks. Therefore, processing the existing plant and specimen stock at the Institute of Apiculture will become a key focus of its work in the coming years, in addition to carrying out examinations and tests for the beekeeping sector and the AGES Food Division, as well as being involved in related research projects.

PONET can be accessed publicly and free of charges via the following URL http://ponetweb.ages.at/pls/pollen/pollen_suche, for example.

More details on the project can be found in the final report.

Project details

Project duration 1.9.2004 – 31.8.2007

 

 

Pollen of the month

In this section, we will show you images of selected pollen types of local flowering plants used by bees appropriate at the season. The pictures of the pollen were taken from our PONET database. You will also find photos of sediments from honey containing these types of pollen, if available.

Contact

Portrait of Helmut Heigl

Pollen analysis

Helmut Heigl
Phone: +43 50 555-33112
Amonstraße 3
3293 Lunz am See
Portrait of Waltraud Auer

Pollen analysis

Waltraud Auer
Phone: +43 50 555-33111
Amonstraße 3
3293 Lunz am See
Portrait of Helmut Heigl

Pollen analysis

Helmut Heigl
Phone: +43 50 555-33112
Amonstraße 3
3293 Lunz am See
Portrait of Waltraud Auer

Pollen analysis

Waltraud Auer
Phone: +43 50 555-33111
Amonstraße 3
3293 Lunz am See

Links

Links

Botanisches Institut der Universität Wien: PALDAT - Pollendatenbank

Sie finden hier viele rasterelektronenmikroskopische Bilder verschiedener Pollenformen.


Mediterranean Melissopalynology: Honig-Pollenkunde des Mittelmeerraumes

Australasian Pollen and Spore Atlas: Pollen und Sporenatlas für die Region Australasien

Key to the Pollen of the Bahamas: Schlüssel zu den Pollenformen der Bahamas

The International Plant Names Index: Internationaler Index der Pflanzennamen

List of Stabilized Plant Names, ed. 5: Liste stabilisierter Pflanzennamen

Botanik im Bild - Flora von Österreich: Flora Naturhistorisches Museum Wien

Flora of Northern Ireland: Flora von Nordirland

Zoologisch-Botanische Datenbank: Zoologisch-Botanische Datenbank

Index der Neophytenverbreitung: Neophyten und deren Verbreitung: Projektergebnisse des Instituts für Geobotanik der Martin-Luther-Universität mit vielen Karten und Artenlisten.


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