Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Pollinator Health in Southern Crop Ecosystems Research » Research » Research Project #442702

Research Project: Establishing a Chemical Database for Nectar and Honey Analysis

Location: Pollinator Health in Southern Crop Ecosystems Research

Project Number: 6066-21000-001-018-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 15, 2022
End Date: Sep 30, 2023

1. Identify and collect nectar from unique mass flowering pollinator attractive plant species, nectar from the honey stomachs of bees foraging on flowers, and capped honey from nearby colonies. 2. Use mass spectrometry-based methods to analyze the chemical properties of fresh plant nectar, nectar in the honey bee crop, and freshly capped honey. 3. Establish a database with markers for chemically detecting adulterated honey.

Mass flowering nectar producing plants, such as crimson clover and hair vetch cover crops, Chinese tallow, soybean, sunflower, and goldenrod, will be identified throughout the year and sampled for nectar using established protocols. Honey bee colonies will be set up near the mass flowering plants and foragers will be collected in the field for their nectar crop contents. Honey from the colony will be sampled seven days after being established on a site. Samples will be processed using standard acetolysis procedures to confirm that the nectar, nectar crop, and honey all correspond with each other. Samples will then be analyzed for markers, such as enzymes and the sample’s chemical profile, using standard protocols at the National Science Laboratory.