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Bee pollen is considered a superfood as it contains all 22 basic elements needed for the human body. It is assumed that a person can survive with just bee pollen and water – very useful for our health!
Bee pollen is the flower pollen collected by the honey bees while they suck the nectar from the flowers.
They carry it in a pollen basket attached to their back legs and bring it to the beehive. Bee pollen is a source of protein, for the growth and development of larvae.
Pollen is a male reproductive agent responsible to fertilize (pollination) a plant.
They mix the pollen flakes with the nectar to make it a granular form. All in all bee pollen is primarily the combination of flower pollen, enzymes, nectar and honey. All this make it a superfood with enormous health benefits.
The colour of the bee pollen varies according to the flowers of the region that bees forage to collect the nectar.
It could come in different shades of colours like yellow, white, orange, blue, grey, green and purple to even black. This gives us the clue about the flowering seasons.
Pollen grains are seed-like particles and are very tiny and ball-like substances that bees create to accommodate and deposit this into their bee comb.
Thus the Bee Pollen gets accumulated in the hives comfortably. A single pollen size is about 5-200 μm (Micrometer) in diameter.
The quality and types of bee pollen rest on the geographical location, climatic conditions, type of soil, types of bees and plant source.
There are several plants that honey bees travel to for about a mile to 5 miles to collect the nectar and pollen.
The variety of the pollen depends upon the different flower plants that honeybees forage for the nectar and pollen.
1. Mustard 2. Litchi 3. Eucalyptus 4. White clover 5. Jujube 6. rosewood 7. Sunflower 8. acacia 9. coriander 10. Karanj 11. Jamun 12. Ajwain etc
Beekeepers attach the pollen trap at the entrance of the bee box or hive in the morning and in the evening they collect it from all the bee boxes.
When the honey bees after foraging with nectar and pollen re-enter into their hive, the pollen trap scrapes the pollen into a tray from the bee which helps in collecting the bee pollen.
The pollen trap is designed in such a way that it doesn’t harm bees in any manner while they pass through it into the hive.
After harvesting, pollen should be dried to increase shelf life.
Always keep it in an airtight container, otherwise, it may imbibe water and get fermented.
It comes in four different forms according to its different purpose of usage:
Raw pollen, pollen tablets, pollen capsules, by dispensing in honey, in combination with various other nutrients.
Bee pollen contains valuable nutritional sources and they come in an equal proportion:
It also has an excellent nutritional profile with 250 biologically active and healthy substances.
There is a growing domestic and global market demand for bee pollen for its medicinal values among the health care community in India and abroad.
Therefore, this has given a great opportunity for beekeepers to add extra income alongside the Honey harvesting.
The reason why it has gained the demand and reputation is that it is loaded with many healthy nutrients necessary for humans. And it includes nearly 250 active healthy substances.
Also, with changing lifestyles more and more consumers are looking for a balanced diet. For this very reason, bee pollen is becoming a valuable supplement.
Bee pollen includes antioxidants, such as flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, carotenoids and glutathione.
Human studies have revealed that these antioxidants present in bee pollen combat and reduce chronic inflammation, eliminate harmful bacteria and infection. It also combats the development of tumours including type 2 diabetes and cancer.
The bee pollen supplement reduces the risk of bad cholesterol in the blood. It also protects lipids from oxidizing, because if the lipid oxidises it clogs the blood vessels leading to an increased risk of heart disease.
The liver is an important organ that breaks and removes toxins from the blood.
The bee pollen increases the liver antioxidant defence power and removes more waste products like malondialdehyde and urea, from the blood.
Overall, the effect of bee pollen promotes good liver healing after liver damage and its antioxidant protects the liver from various toxic substances like a drug overdose.
The bee pollen has a history of healing swelling and inflammation. Its antioxidant quercetin lowers the production of omega-6 fatty acid, like arachidonic acid.
Bee pollen antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties greatly reduce the infection and heal the wounds faster.
It also has antibacterial property which helps in healing scrapes, cuts, abrasions and burns.
Bee pollen contains vitamin C and bioflavonoid which helps in enhancing iron absorption. It also helps in muscle growth, increases metabolism and longevity due to its high-quality protein and amino acids.
Many topical products contain bee pollen because it has amino acids and vitamins which protects, regenerate cells and rejuvenate skin.
The enzymes and co-enzymes present in the bee pollen are considered to be very important and play an important role in the bee pollen to help reduce weight gain.
There are studies that claim that people who are taking bee pollen are showing good improvement in their hormonal levels and it also restores ovarian which accelerate pregnancy.
Bee pollen comes in three different forms – granules, capsules, chewable tablets depending on how you want to take it in line with your goals.
It is recommended that adults can take 20-40g or 3-5 tablespoons per day. You can add it to your smoothies or breakfast.
After the first dose, you can check if you have any bee pollen reaction in your body or allergy.
If so, you may experience an itchy throat, headache, sweating, runny nose or other allergic symptoms. However, don’t worry if you experience this.
There are some experts who have studied this and found that continued exposure to Bee pollen dosage will strengthen tolerance or re-balance your immune system.
Therefore taking Bee pollen and increasing its dosage slowly help you tolerate this. As a result, you become habituated to enjoying its benefits.
Even after this, if you feel uncomfortable then go and see a doctor for a quick check-up first.
However, it also depends upon age, health and other conditions. So, follow the direction given on the bee pollen product label or consult the healthcare professional before taking it.
According to the National Institute of health, there is no set method or appropriate doses for bee pollen.
Consuming bee pollen as it has many nutritional properties are safe, however for those who are allergic to bee pollen, it may cause itching, shortness of breath, swelling and anaphylaxis.
Lactating and pregnant women should avoid this as the evidence is still awaited if it is safe for the babies.
And people, who are taking blood thinners like warfarin tablets, must avoid them because they may interact negatively with blood thinners.
So, consult your doctor before the consumption of bee pollen under the aforementioned conditions.
The fresh bee pollen contains moisture 10% to 12%. Whereas the moisture content of dried bee pollen is around four per cent.
So, the best way to preserve the bee pollen and its potency is to freeze or refrigerate it right after the harvest.
If the bee pollen is dried under the sun above 40 °C then it loses its potency by 50%.
The right way to preserve the bee pollen through the drying process is to dry it at a temperature of 30 °C in the dark.
The shelf life of the Bee pollen varies depending upon the storage.
If you store it a room temperature then it would stay for six months to a year.
If you keep it in a refrigerator, then it will likely stay for one to two years. And the frozen Bee pollen stays for several years.
You can check the Bee pollen edibility when doubtful of its freshness by trying a few granules to determine its taste.
If you doubt its freshness then don’t risk eating it, go and grab another bottle of fresh Bee pollen.
Similar to Natural honey, Bee Pollen is very useful and effective for healthy living. It also helps to keep chronic diseases at bay.
You can buy Bee Pollen online from Amazon.in or from the beekeepers if you have got direct access to them.