CSI Pollen

publication date: Mar 21, 2014
Send a summary of this page to someone via email.
CSI Pollen Logo IBRA Logo COLOSS Logo

CSI Pollen

“CSI pollen” is a Europe wide study of the diversity of pollen sources collected by honey bees, organised by the COLOSS honey bee research association (http://coloss.org/). It is known that the pollen of certain plant species may be deficient in certain essential nutrients and lead to stress. In order to investigate regional patterns of pollen diversity, the project will seek the help of “Citizen Scientists”, in this case volunteer beekeepers, who will collect the information. The participating beekeepers will use pollen traps fitted to their honey bee colonies to regularly collect pollen loads, and count the number of different colours present.

The aims of the study are:-

  • To identify regions with high or low pollen diversity
  • To identify seasonal changes in pollen diversity available to honey bees
  • To compare habitats (e.g. city vs. agricultural)
  • To enable beekeepers to simply compare and judge pollen diversity of different apiaries.

What does the “Citizen Scientist” need?

  • 3 honey bee colonies (preferably static)
  • 3 pollen traps
  • 3 honey jars with lids
  • An email address and internet access
  • Willingness to collect and analyse pollen approximately every three weeks
  • Colour vision

What does the “Citizen Scientist” need to do?

1. Set up three hives with pollen traps.

2. Every three weeks collect a pollen sample from each.

3. Take a sub-sample sufficient to fill a honey jar lid.

4. Separate the loads by colour and count the number of colours present.

5. Submit the data.

A pilot project was carried out during 2013, and a report can be found here:-


If you are interested in joining the project, please send an email to your local coordinator (see below) who will send you full instructions.

CSI Pollen international:

International coordinators:-

Sjef van der Steen:


 Robert Brodschneider:


National coordinators:

Austria: Robert Brodschneider: robert.brodschneider@uni-graz.at

Croatia: Janja Filipi: jfilipi@veleknin.hr

Denmark: Asger Søgaard Jørgensen: asj@biavl.dk

England: Norman Carreck: norman.carreck@btinternet.com

France: Jean-Francois Odoux: Jean-Francois.Odoux@magneraud.inra.fr

Ireland: Mary Coffey: Mary.Frances.Coffey@ul.ie

Italy: Simone Tosi: s.tosi@unibo.it

Netherlands: Sjef van der Steen: sjef.vandersteen@wur.nl

Norway: Bjørn Dahle: bjorn.dahle@norbi.no

Romania: Nicoleta Ion: ionnicoleta2006@yahoo.com

Scotland: Magnus Peterson: magnus.peterson@strath.ac.uk

Slovenia: tba

Spain: Amelia Virginia Gonzalez Porto: avgonzalez@externas.jccm.es

Sweden: Preben Kristiansen: preben.kristiansen@biodlarna.se

Switzerland: Geoffrey Williams and Vincent Dietemann: geoffrey.williams@vetsuisse.unibe.ch vincent.dietemann@agroscope.admin.ch

Wales: Norman Carreck: norman.carreck@btinternet.com

International and national coordinators in Graz, Austria, February 2014.

Useful resources from IBRA Bookshop:-

A colour guide to the pollen loads of the honey bee:-


Forage for pollinators in an agricultural landscape:

Coming soon.

Plants for bees:-


Pollen identification cards:-


The pollen grain drawings of Dorothy Hodges:-