Dorothy Hodges drawings of pollen grains will never be surpassed. The originals are preserved at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This booklet reproduces these drawings.
Dorothy Hodges was a trained artist with an artist’s acute powers of observation as well as being a beekeeper. In 1946 she had the idea of making a colour chart of pollen loads. It took several years for her ideas to gestate but the glorious outcome was the publication, by the then Bee Research Association, of The Pollen Loads of the Honeybee in 1952.
Designed as a very practical guide for beekeepers, the importance of the book was immense and it has long since risen from being a humble textbook and guide to a much sought after collectors’ item. Its rarity and importance mean that it is no longer easily obtainable and so difficult for the ordinary beekeeper to appreciate its contents. For this very reason IBRA has decided to reproduce Mrs Hodges’s delicate drawings of pollen grains as a separate publication and in so doing hopefully make her work known to other generations of beekeepers.
Although the painstakingly produced colour charts of the original book still have their value it would.not be possible to reproduce them with sufficient accuracy to do justice to the original work. However, the drawings lend them-selves to reasonable reproduction. They are of outstanding artistic merit and offer the possibility of identifying the pollen forms which are most frequently collected by bees. For beginners these drawings will do good service as an introduction to the pollen analysis of honey.
The drawings need no explanation other than a name – the family group, the Latin scientific name and the common English name – thus making the book independent of language barriers. This means it can be appreciated in many countries where the original work was unknown or is now out of reach because of rarity and cost.
The cover is taken from Dorothy Hodges own watercolour painting that she suggested might adorn the dust jacket of the original publication. The artwork was not used and so this booklet allows it to be seen publicly for the first time in almost sixty years.
Finally, for the convenience of the reader, the actual pollen drawings retain the same page numbers as the plates in the original book.
Previous Director, IBRA