Be a Pollen Collector

By Eric Hammer

There are two kinds of people who can rightfully be called a pollen collector. The first kind of pollen collector will collect pollen from bees. This material is considered extremely healthy, offering a large number of nutrients. The stuff is often mixed into ordinary food in order to gain the benefits from the stuff.

However, there is also another kind of pollen collector. You can collect pollen from plants and trees which is then processed by pharmaceutical companies to create allergy medicine. Mostly this is done by professionals who are directly employed by the company; however it is also possible to be a pollen collector on your own land if you happen to have a significant area to harvest from.

Both of these kinds of pollen collectors tend to work during a limited harvesting season so this is rarely year long work unless you are running a green house.

How Much Can You Make?

Bee pollen typically sells for anywhere from $4-$8 per pound and flower pollen which you sell to pharmaceutical companies can fetch as little as $5 or as much as $40 per pound depending on the kind of pollen you collect.

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Given that this is a limited job, many people who become pollen collectors also choose to work in other fields of botany, including raising plants and flowers and running nurseries. Those who collect bee pollen also collect the honey that the bees create.

Keep in mind that to collect flower pollen, you'll have to be able to identify various species of plant by site when you see them growing and you will want to keep the pollen completely separate so that you don't contaminate one kind of pollen with another kind.

As far selling the stuff is concerned, it's best to contact your state forestry service to find out more details about the legal rules surrounding collection and selling of pollen. They can also usually give you a better idea of where to collect the pollen (it may be legal in some state parks, though picking flowers in federal parks is illegal) and they may even be able to tell you where to sell the material you collect.

Bee pollen by contrast is usually sold in bags at health food stores.

Qualifications / Requirements

There are no formal requirements to be a pollen collector. However, you will need to know a great deal about botany and how to identify different kinds of plants by sight. It would help to earn a college degree in botany as well.

First Steps

Start by reading more about pollen and why it is collected. Some material is listed below though you can also ask in your local library about other books on pollen. Then, contact your state forestry service to find out more about where and how pollen is collected in your state.

Those interested in collecting bee pollen should read more about keeping bees and consider opening a bee farm.


Check out these helpful resources to find out more about becoming a pollen collector:

Green Horizons --- Hidden Money in Your Forest - This is a good introduction to collecting pollen for the purpose of selling the stuff to pharmaceutical companies. Just remember that the market can be somewhat limited.

eHow: How Do I Collect Pollen - A very good introduction to how to be a pollen collector from a practical standpoint.

Bee Pollen Buzz: Bee Pollen Facts - A good introduction to bee pollen.

eHow: How to Collect Bee Pollen - The process is quite different from collecting ordinary pollen.

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