Bee Pollen health Benefits
Bee pollen (or bee bread or a pollen ball) is a mass of pollen that has been packed by worker honeybees into granules with added honey or nectar. Incomplete larval development of bees occurs on them. They are found in brood cells. Brood cells are chambers of wood and mud, and are created by female ground-nesting bees. When the pollen ball is complete, a single female lays an egg on top of the pollen ball, and seals the brood cell. The balls are harvested as food for humans.
Foraging bees bring pollen back to the hive and pass it off to another worker bee. This bee will pack the pollen into a cell with her head. During the packing, the pollen is mixed with nectar, enzymes, fungi, and bacteria, organisms that transform the pollen into bee pollen. The resulting material is higher in nutrition than the untreated pollen. Bee pollen is the primary source of protein for the hive.
Like royal jelly, honey, and propolis, other well-known honey bee products, the exact chemical composition of pollen gathered depends on which plants the worker bees are gathering the pollen from, and can vary from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, colony to colony, even in the same apiary, and no two samples of bee pollen will be exactly identical. Accordingly, chemical and nutritional analyses of bee pollen apply only to the specific samples being tested, and cannot be extrapolated to samples gathered in other places or other times. Although there is no specific chemical composition, the average composition has been said to be 55% carbohydrates, 35% proteins, 3% minerals and vitamins, 2% fatty acids, and 5% of diverse other components.
A recent study of samples of bee pollen showed they may contain 188 kinds of fungi and 29 kinds of bacteria. Bee pollen is sometimes referred to as ambrosia.
Bee pollen is used in naturopathic medicine traditions and as a nutritional supplement, although exposure may trigger allergic or anaphylactic reactions in sensitive people.