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Bee pollen FAQ

25th September 2013

Pollen

Bee pollen has long ago entered our Wild Hives household as a delicious and highly nutritious addition to our diet. So we are very excited that it is finally also available to purchase to our customers.

Bee pollen is often called a superfood, and although many have heard about it, we find there is still a bit of mystery surrounding it. That's why we gathered some facts and some bits of practical information just to clarify what bee pollen is, what it is good for, and how to use it.

What is bee pollen?

Bee pollen is made by honeybees, and is the food of the young bee. Honeybees collect hundreds of pollen grains from a single flower adhering them to the tiny hairs on the back of their legs while secreting a sticky substance from their stomach to help pack the pollen into granules, they carry two granules at a time back to the hive and feed it to their young.

How bee pollen is collected?

Beekeepers sometimes attach a small box fitted with a screen in the doorway of a hive to allow the bee to enter at the same time harmlessly removing the pollen granules from their legs. Beekeepers are careful to collect only a small amount from any given hive, so as not to deprive the bees of their food source.

That's why here at Wild Hives we've been waiting long and patiently for our beekeepers to collect it at the right time and in the right amounts.

Bee pollen - a superfood

Bee pollen is considered one of nature's most completely nourishing foods as it contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. It is rich in proteins (approximately 40% protein), free amino acids, vitamins A, B, C ,P, E, K, folic acid, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium to name a few of its chemical compounds.

Bee pollen is a complete food and contains many elements that products of animal origin do not possess. It is richer in proteins than any animal source, and it contains more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese of equal weight. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body.

Why to include bee pollen in your diet?

Energy enhancer - the range of nutrients found within bee pollen makes it a great natural energiser. The carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins can help keep you going all day by enhancing stamina and fighting off fatigue.

At Wild Hives we like starting our day with a spoonful of bee pollen sprinkled on our muesli or fruit salad.

Skin soother - bee pollen is often used in topical products that aim to treat inflammatory conditions and common skin irritations like psoriasis or eczema. The amino acids and vitamins protect the skin and aid the regeneration of cells.

Respiratory system and allergies - bee pollen contains a high quality of antioxidants that may have an anti inflammatory effect on the tissues of the lungs, preventing the outset of asthma. It also reduces the presence of histamine, ameliorating many allergies (anything from asthma to sinus problems, it is effective against a wide range of respiratory diseases.

Digestive system - in addition to healthful vitamins, minerals and proteins, bee pollen contains enzymes that can aid in digestion. Enzymes assist your body in getting all the nutrients you need from the food that you eat.

Immune system booster - pollen is good for the intestinal and thereby supports the immune system. It has antibiotic-type properties that can help protect the body from contracting viruses. It's also rich in antioxidants that protect the cells from damaging oxidation of free radicals.

Support the cardiovascular system - bee pollen contains large amounts of Rutin; an antioxidant bioflavonoid that helps strengthen capillaries, blood vessel, assist with circulatory problems and corrects cholesterol levels.

Bee pollen is also known to aid treating addictions and infertility problems.

What does bee pollen look and taste like?

The colour of bee pollen is now indication of quality. It is most frequently bright yellow, but red, purple, green, brown, orange and other colours are common too. The colour of each granule mainly depends on when in the year and where from bees collected the pollen. Bee pollen has a sweet powdery, floral taste.

How to store it?

The best place to store it is in the fridge, as sunlight and heat destroy the nutrient value. Bee pollen doesn't really expire, but its health qualities diminish with time, however storing it in a cool dark place should preserve its nutrients for about a year.

How to use bee pollen?

Bee pollen is a food and acts faster and more effectively when taken at mealtime and especially when taken with fruit, which lets it gently perform a little cleansing of the intestinal flora.

You can take one to three tablespoons of bee pollen daily. Try it in smoothies and shakes, sprinkle on yoghurt or applesauce, on your morning cereal or sprinkle on salads. As fruit fibres reinforce the activity of the fresh pollen, at Wild Hives we like to take a spoonful at breakfast, creating our ultimate breakfast. Try it yourself: chop some different fruit up mixing up some lovely fruit salad, top it with a handful of muesli or granola, a spoonful of yoghurt or a dash of milk and a tablespoon of bee pollen - and you've got the Wild Hives breakfast of champions, that guarantee a great start of your day!

Can bee pollen be taken if you're allergic to pollen?

Before you take bee pollen you should know your bee status: are you allergic to bees? Have you ever been stung? Do you have pollen allergies?

If you suspect you have pollen allergies, suffer from hay fever or are allergic to bees, it's best to check with your medical practitioner before you start consuming bee pollen.

Bee pollen is normally not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Can bee pollen help fight seasonal allergies?

Bee pollen is known for its ability to fight allergies. It is also believed that taking small amounts of pollen expose your body to the allergen and desensitise your allergies over time. However sometimes people might have an allergy flare up taking local honey or bee pollen. Some experts suggest to take the smallest daily dose possible that doesn't give you an allergic reaction, and see if you can increase it in time. Check with your doctor before trying this method!

Still have some questions about bee pollen or any of our other products, need some ideas or recommendations, do not hesitate and contact us with your enquiry on contact@wildhives.co.uk, and we'll do our best to help you.