I’m in Lasalle Ontario Canada and we are approaching our fall very soon. Pollen and nectar sources are thinning down and I hear that golden rod is likely the primary source right now. I live adjacent to soybean fields a plenty and I wondered if that too is a source as I had read that they don’t require bees to pollinate them. Is there a way to tell what their collecting from?
Ragweed is probably a source there now. The late season soybean do supply nectar and pollen but do not know the timing. Not sure about neonicotinoids and farm sprays, probably harmful. The easiest way to know what they are collecting is look at the fields and see if bees are working them. I have a friend that looks at pollen under microscope and after few years of practice can tell what plant with decent accuracy.
if you could collect a sample you could maybe identify the pollen under a microscope.
I have some microscopes and want to try doing that myself when I find the time. I would love to know what my bees are doing.
@Webclan was taking pollen samples recently in Australia for a study from memory. She may have some info about it for you
You could check out the pollen you find on the soy flowers and relate it back to the pollen the bees bring in.
As @Faroe mentioned, I’m right into studying and analyzing pollen currently, but never came across soybeans as yet.
Try google pollen charts, I saw some US charts that indicate pollen Colour and even tell you what the resultant honey looks and tastes like if the plants produce nectar as well.
Couldn’t find soy on any of their charts.
Have you watched a Canadian beekeeper blog? He has many videos and some might cover what you are asking. Here is one from 3 days ago https://youtu.be/6a10C0s_3Aw