How Do Bees Make Pollen?
Bees and flowers have what scientists like to call a “symbiotic” relationship. This means that there are mutual benefits for both the bee and the flower: the bee gets the nectar to make honey, while the flower gets some major assistance in spreading its pollen.
While performing their nectar-collecting duties (say that five times fast), bees pick up pollen from the flowers. While stationed at a flower, the bee scrapes the male part of the flower, the anther, using its front legs and jaw. A powdery substance (the pollen) is collected, and the bee takes it back to the hive. This pollen is actually a large part of the bee’s own nutrition.
To form the larger granules that we see here, the bee has mixed in the fine particles of pollen with some honey.
Energy: The nutrients that bee pollen provides- proteins, B vitamins, and carbohydrates- give the body natural energy.
Immune System Boost: Bee pollen is good for the flora in the intestinal tract. When the intestinal tract is full of flora (the good bacteria you need), the immune system can function at its peak.
Anti-inflammatory: The amino acids and vitamins within the pollen protect skin and quicken the pace of healing through regeneration of cells. It can be applied topically to treat conditions such as eczema, but also contains antioxidants known to soothe the tissue of the lungs when ingested. This is particularly helpful for conditions such as asthma.
Allergies: While the word “pollen” may not seem like it would be conducive to treating allergies, bee pollen actually reduces the effects of histamine, the antagonist behind allergies. Sinus problems, bee gone!
Cardiovascular system: Bee pollen contains Rutin, which is an antioxidant bioflavonoid that strengthens blood vessels. This can help with any circulatory problems, while also assisting in lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Infertility: Said to stimulate ovarian function, bee pollen might be of use in fertility problems and overall fertility health. There have also been some studies on the benefits of bee pollen on the prostate.
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The taste of bee pollen is slightly sweet, with a grainy texture. It’s actually quite pleasant.
Bee pollen can be added to smoothies at many health-oriented restaurants and smoothie joints. It can also be purchased as a supplement by itself at health food stores or on from a reputable online retailer. Consider the source and brand of the retailer prior to purchase. Checking reviews from previous purchasers is also a good idea.
The dosage of pollen is highly dependent on the individual, so do your research and consult your physician before you begin taking any supplement. Most people incorporate 1 to 2 tablespoons of granules daily into their diet. Bee pollen is not recommended for anyone with allergies to pollen.
Depending on the source, type, and size, the price of bee pollen can range from $5 to $35. This can come in supplement (pill) form, or in granules. If to be used in food, it's suggested that you purchase the granules.
Have you had any experiences with bee pollen? If not, would you consider adding it as a supplement to your diet?