How is bee pollen produced?
Bees collect pollen from the anthers of flowers. This is mixed with saliva and placed in tiny containers called corbiculae on the bee's hind legs.
As they pass from flower to flower this accumulates to form the small brown or yellow clumps around their legs that you may have already seen if you have had the joy of watching a bee visiting a flower.
Once the bee is loaded with pollen, they fly back to the hive, where the pollen is stored inside the honeycomb cells, before being covered with a layer of honey and wax.
What does bee pollen contain?
The main components of bee pollen are proteins and amino acids, lipids and sugars. Minor components are vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, carotenoids, terpenes and enzymes.
Proportions vary depending on the collection area, the flora surrounding the beehive, the flowers that are currently in bloom.
Did you know...
Bee pollen has a higher percentage protein than beef and is also low in fat. It is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians.
Bee pollen is made up of:
- 7,5% - 40% proteins.
- 15-50% sugars - fructose and glucose.
- 14 fatty acids, including both essential fatty acids.
- Amino acids - including isoleucine, lysine, leucine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan and valine, which are all beneficial to humans.
- Vitamins - B (B1, B2, B5, B6 , B12); vitamins A, C, D, E and K; folic acid; rutin and vitamin PP (Niacin).
- 28 minerals including essential minerals calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium.
- 11 enzymes and co-enzymes.
- Phenolic compounds (including flavonoids).
- Pollen is low in fat.
What are the health benefits of pollen?
Bee pollen is highly nutritious and extremely beneficial to humans:
- Pollen can combat stress and fatigue
Taken correctly as a supplement, pollen helps increase vital energy in cases of nervous exhaustion, fatigue, convalescence and counters chronic fatigue in the elderly.(1)
Thanks to the high vitamin and mineral content it stimulates the metabolism and the Central Nervous System.
- Bee pollen can improve sports performance
The use of pollen is widespread among athletes. Thanks to its high content of minerals, vitamins and amino acids, it helps in prolonged efforts, increases resistance and facilitates physical recovery.
The high protein content also helps increase muscle mass.
- Pollen fights acne and skin aging
According to a study by the Swedish dermatologist Dr. Lars-Erik Essen, bee pollen reduces acne and counteracts the formation of wrinkles (thanks to its moisturizing effect on the cells). Whether taken orally or applied to the skin in the form of a cosmetic it helps to rejuvenate the skin and giving a healthy appearance, because it contains a high level of nucleic acids DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).
- Eat pollen to reduce hair loss and strengthen nails
Rich in amino acids, vitamins (A, B3, B8) and minerals (sulfur, iron and zinc), bee pollen reduces hair loss and strengthens nails.
- Pollen may actually help fight allergies
Although it may seem odd, Naturopathy recommends regular intake of small doses of pollen to alleviate and prevent pollen allergies.
- Lose weight with pollen
Pollen can suppress the appetite and increase metabolism. The high enzyme content also aids digestion.
- Pollen strengthens the cardiovascular system
Thanks to rutin and, flavonoids and polyunsaturated fats, pollen strengthens the circulatory system. It helps to re-balance cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and to restore the correct ratio between "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and "good" cholesterol (HDL).
- Pollen helps the immune system
Laboratory tests have shown that prolonged intake of pollen improves the functionality of the immune system.
- Pollen intake contrasts osteoporosis
Studies carried out in the laboratory by gynecologist Dr. Werner Salomon have shown that prolonged intake of bee pollen acts on bone density and osteoporosis during the perimenopause climacteric period.
After 4 years of study he was able to observe that the administration of bee pollen not only blocked the start of the osteoporosis processes, but also increased the bone density.
- Pollen has antibacterial properties
Like propolis, bee pollen has natural antibiotic effects and may inhibit the proliferation of harmful bacteria, such as salmonella.
Bee pollen: harvesting, preparation, storage and consumption
How is bee pollen harvested?
Beekeepers remove the excess pollen from the hive with special scraping tools positioned inside the hive itself.
In what form can I find pollen?
The pollen is usually sold in the natural state as produced by bees: small yellow or brown granules about the size of a grain of rice.
Bee pollen can be stored in its natural state for a long time without special precautions. It has even been found in fossil deposits millions of years old!
For best results store in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place.
How and when to take bee pollen
You can eat pollen raw as it is; or add as a tasty topping to a smoothie, cereals or yoghurt. Continue taking for 1-3 months according to your requirement.
We recommend one teaspoon of pollen a day, taken away from meal times. This allows better digestion and absorption.
Did you know!
1 teaspoon of pollen contains:
- 15.7 calories
- 2.2g of carbohydrate
- 1.2g of protein
- 0.3g of fat
Collection and quality
Where can I buy a certified high quality pollen?
There are many types of pollen on the market, often from unverified origins.
To avoid pollen contaminated with pesticides, always choose certified organic pollen.
Are there different types of bee pollen?
Pollen will vary from beehive to beehive depending on the species of bee, the plants in the area and the season (plants and trees flower at different times throughout the year).
Consequently pollen will therefore register small variations in the nutritional content, color and shape of the granules.
Why do pollen grains have different colours?
You may have noticed, pollen grains never have the same shape and colour.
The colour depends largely on the flowers from which the pollen is sourced. For example, pollen collected from pear blossoms tend to be yellow-red, whereas the borage flower gives a blue-grey pollen.
How much pollen does a bee colony produce in a year?
According to recent studies, an average beehive can produce about 7 kg of pollen a year. This allows a bee-keeper to withdraw 50 - 250 grams of pollen a day.
How much pollen should I take per day?
The recommended dosage is 5 - 20 grams per day for adults and 5 grams for children.
Aim to take pollen on an empty stomach before breakfast. You can eat pure, taking care to chew it well in your mouth.
To maximize the benefits of pollen take it regularly over a period of at least 1-3 months.
What is the best way to consume pollen?
Pollen can be eaten raw in its natural state, or added as a topping to fruit, fruit shakes,yoghurt or cereals. Children also love it!
What are the side effects of consuming bee pollen?
Side effects are usually related to the allergic reactionsalready present in an individual. Allergy or hay fever sufferers Are more likely to have adverse effects to pollen.
If you are worried about adverse effects, start by taking pollen in small doses monitoring for adverse reactions. If no side effects are shown, you can gradually increase the dosage up to the advised maximum of 10g a day.
Common side effects of pollen are coughing, throat tingling and redness of the skin.
Can pollen really help you lose weight?
Although there is no scientific proof, pollen can suppress the appetite and increase metabolism. The high enzyme content also aids digestion.
(1)Komosinska-Vassev K, Olczyk P, Kaźmierczak J, Mencner L, Olczyk K. Bee Pollen: Chemical Composition and Therapeutic Application