Bee Pollen: What is that stuff?
Bee pollen is essential for young bees, but it can also be very beneficial for you. You just need to know how to access all the nutritional properties that bee pollen contains, and that is exactly what we will tell you here! We explain what bee pollen is, what bees use it for, why you should include it in your diet, and how you can easily recreate bee bread in your own kitchen.
What is bee pollen used for?
Bee pollen is collected by honeybees from the anthers of flowers. The bees pack it into the pollen baskets on their hind legs to transfer it back to the hive. Each pollen pellet is made out of the pollen of only one flower, but contains over two million flower pollen grains!
Honeybees collect these pollen balls to create food for their larvae (or baby bees). This is how it works; After the flower pollen is collected, the honeybees bring the pollen baskets back to their hive, and push them into the bottom of the honeycomb cell. Next, they need to be mixed with something acidic in order for the pollen molecule to open, so the bees can get the nutrition out of it. Think of a pollen molecule like a coconut, the hard shell won’t let you access the meat on the inside unless you break it open. Honeybees don’t actually break open the pollen physically, they use honey for this. The acidic nature of honey will break open the molecules. The bees continue to layer pollen and honey until the cell is full.
After 5-10 days the bee pollen, honey, and bee saliva that has been packed into the cell will ferment. This turns into a mixture that we call bee bread. Unlike the name lets you to believe, this is not actually bread or similar to it. It is almost like a very firm honey paste. The bee bread is then eaten by the young nurse bees, and with it, they secrete royal jelly. Royal jelly is what they feed the larvae and the queen bee.
How it benefits you
As you can tell, bee pollen is a crucial ingredient in creating food for bee larvae. It gives the young bees all the nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy, as each pollen pellet is packed full of proteins, free amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are not only beneficial to young bees, but it also contains nearly all the nutrients required by the human body. Believe it or not, it has more protein than any animal source!
The nutritional properties in pollen can help boost your immune system, kill bacteria, ease inflammation, lower the risk of infections, and stimulate wound healing. Adding bee pollen to your day to day diet can help you maintain an optimal health.
Fermented pollen recipe “Bee Bread”
The dried bee pollen we have in store is collected from Canadian hives. You will still need to “break them open” to get the nutritional value, just like bees have to. We created an easy recipe that will let you recreate bee bread at home, so you can enjoy all the benefits that it has to offer. The recipe is as follows:
1 cup (250ml) bee pollen
4tsp (40ml) water
1/2 cup (125ml) honey
Measure out the bee pollen into a glass container (that has a lid). Poor the water over the pollen and stir gently. The water will work as a replacement of the bee saliva. The next step is to add your liquid honey, and place the lid on the jar. Stir this mixture once a day. Allow it to sit for 3-5 days before consuming. Enjoy your home made bee bread!