Measurement of pollen humidity

Beekeepers may want to know how pollen moisture is measured. It is well known that it should normally be less than 6%, but in practice everyone uses only organoleptic assessment (ie based on human senses: sight, smell and touch). Pollen firmness can be checked. If it cannot be crushed and at least be peeled off, it means that the humidity is low enough.
Those interested, ask how exactly it is measured and what is this humidity. Here you should refer to the Polish standard. It provides a method of measuring the humidity of pollen beds. In short, this method consists in evaporating all the moisture from the pollen sample and measuring the resulting mass difference.

In laboratories, a very precise laboratory desiccator and scales are used for this. However, a similar procedure, although slightly less detailed, can be performed at home. You will need a pocket jewelry scale (it costs around 25$) and an oven.

1. Remove a piece of aluminum foil and weigh it.
2. Weigh 10 g of pollen on this piece of foil (the standard mentions 2 g, but then we would need a laboratory balance to accurately capture weight loss).
3. Put it in an oven set at 80 ° C for 2 hours (in fact, the temperature will fluctuate around 70 ° C).
4. Remove it, cool it and weigh it.
5. Put it back in the oven for 30 minutes.
6. Remove it, cool it and weigh it again.
7. If there is a significant difference between the measurements, we return to point 3 and start again.
8. If the mass of pollen on the foil has fallen below 9.40 g, it means that the moisture content of the sample has exceeded 6%.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.