Harvesting Pollen. What is your method?

jpcyan

Master Grower
Ok, so I have a couple males I'd like to collect the pollen and be able to store it. Ive done it many times with just a simple trim it, place it in small paper bag to dry, and transfer to a mini zip lock for storage.
This only works short term it seems.

To use it I usually dip a fine paint brush in the mini zip and brush on specific location/ buds then label each.

I have small amber glass bottles, clear bottles, test tubes and centrifuge tubes, mini zips etc.
I would like to have some for a longer term storage.

What do you do? Collecting? , drying or no?, short term storage? use/ pollinating? long term storage?
Love to know the insiders tricks n tips on this.
Thanks for your feedback.
 

Gweedo

Insane Grower
COLLECTING & STORING POLLEN
Now that our male has begun dropping pollen, we can start our collection. I like to use a piece of glass (taken from a dollar store picture frame) and a coffee stirrer to free and collect the pollen.

⚠ Make sure to kill any large air movers that may disturb this process. The only air circulators you may want going is an extraction fan that can create the negative pressure to keep any stray pollen inside of a tent.
You will position your glass under the flower that is ready to drop, and just slightly agitate it with the stirrer. A slight small nudge is all that you need to free the pollen (pic 10,11).

Then, you will slowly use a razor blade to transfer the pollen from your collection surface into a storage container (pic 12). I use narrow necked glass vials.

⚠ Remember: we only need to collect 3-4 male flowers worth of pollen to have several single branch pollinations.

If you have no intention of collecting pollen for future work, then this single pollen collection is all you need to dust some branches (pic 13). So at this point, the male’s job is done and we can dispose of him long before he starts to really open up and create a high risk for accidental pollination.
You can use any smooth surface to collect the pollen. When there are hard to reach male flowers, I switch to a plant tag for collection (pic 14,15), so just be creative with what you have.

⚠ When you trash the male, be sure to change your clothes and shower before going near the flowering females. While there won’t be much pollen this early, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sometimes, I like to let the male flower out for long periods for larger stores of pollen and to make sure he doesn’t hermie later in flower. You can see the risk factor for accidental pollination escalates quickly at the male’s later stages, as he dumps tons of pollen. Ideally, your male will be long gone before this can happen (unless you want it to happen )

With your collected pollen (pic 13), you have 2 choices:
  1. If you’re doing just a few branch pollinations, the staggered timing of triggering the male, means your females are ready to be dusted and there is no need to worry about storing the pollen. You could move on to the section (Pollinating a Single Branch).
  2. If you would like to store the pollen, allow the container to dry overnight in a safe place away from fans. This allows any residual moisture to be purged for long-term storage.
⚠ Water is the enemy of pollen. Try not to get any plant material in your container as it can sweat moisture into your pollen and render it unviable. You can use this to your advantage, keeping a spray bottle with water on hand can allow you to spray around his tote if you fear any pollen may have escaped.
The next day, you can cap your container and place it in a labeled bag with a small desiccant for long term storage. Make sure to include the date the pollen was collected so that viability can be tracked. I like to prepare single-use vials that have just enough pollen so that when I take out and use it, there is nothing left. I don’t have to worry about freezing and defrosting the same container.

⚠ I try to use up pollen within a year of its collection. As the viability begins to drop off, you’ll notice fewer pollinated flowers as you continue to use the pollen. You’ll want to refresh your pollen bank as you notice the reduction in viability.

You can keep your packaged pollen containers in the freezer until you are ready for pollination. I keep a drawer in the freezer full of various pollens. Whenever I have female plants that are ready for dusting, I can make several crosses without having to constantly juggle multiple flowering males.
 

jpcyan

Master Grower
Thanks Mr Blamo, The flour idea is not something I had considered. Appreciate your response. Freezing
is what I had considered for longer term storage. I might try the small amber glass bottles as they seal really well. Agree on the freezer bags vs regular zips. The plastic itself breathes some in standard baggies. Even when used with a bag sealer they are not totally airtight/moisture proof. One of the reasons I don't use for myco projects as well.

Thanks Gweedo, I'll be giving that link a good reading, I haven't had much direct interaction with Schwaggy, but have heard from quite a few peeps to pay attention to his posts and threads for some great info. He knows whats up. Good stuff!

I have had males throw pollen under 24hrs lights, but only after many months veg. And not in quantity. Mostly just the pre-flowers coming into maturity. They, like most males, have the irresitable urge to procreate it seems ;). Not a common occurrence though and more from my neglect or not paying close enough attention.

BlackmambaMaletop - Copy.jpg
 

Hogbackmagic

Insane Grower
Got another question will the males throw pollen under a veg light schedule???
yes they will I was doing this until i got a tent but they have to be almost ready to blow there wad
I harvested pollen every day what I do is get a small piece of paper stick it uder the male flower and poke it tap it with a tooth pick to nock pollen out i tried to store pollen didn't have much luck tried the white flower mix thing just never worked for me some people use rice as well to keep pollen dry while in storage I use
fresh pollen when I do my chucks I hope you find something that works out for you @jpcyan and good luck
with your chuck ✌
 

Heathenraider

Heathen Basterd
Site Supporter
I store pollen long term in a vial with rice inside and seal it in a Mylar pouch and put in freezer , viable pollen can keep up to a year in this manner
 
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