Bee pollen

Bee pollen is a ball or pellet of field-gathered flower pollen packed by worker honeybees, and used as the primary food source for the hive. It consists of simple sugars, protein, minerals and vitamins, fatty acids, and a small percentage of other components. Also called bee bread,[1] or ambrosia, it is stored in brood cells, mixed with saliva, and sealed with a drop of honey.[2] Bee pollen is harvested as food for humans, with various health claims, one of them being that the fermentation process makes it much more potent than simple flower pollen.[3]

Apis mellifera - Melilotus albus - Keila
Honey bee with pollen baskets.
Grille à Pollen et abeilles 05
A pollen trap.
Bee Pollen IMG 8873
Corbiculette congelate
Frozen bee pollen, a human food supplement.
Pollen in Wabe 31b
Bee bread: the bee pollen stored in the combs.


In honeybees (Apis species) pollen is stored in the chambers of the hives. It differs from field gathered pollen as honey bee secretions induce a fermentation process, where biochemical transformations break down the walls of flower pollen grains and render the nutrients more readily available.[3]

Forager bees that gather pollen do not eat it themselves, since they stop producing the proteolytic enzymes necessary to digest it when they transition to foraging. The foragers unload the pollen they gather directly into open cells located at the interface between the brood and stored honey, creating a typical band of what is called bee bread – the substance which is the main food source for honey bee larvae and workers.

Foraging bees bring pollen back to the hive, where they pass it off to other worker bees, who pack the pollen into cells with their heads. During collection and possibly packing, the pollen is mixed with nectar and bee salivary secretions.[4] Bee pollen is the primary source of protein for the hive.[5]

Bees other than Apis typically form pollen into balls; these are primarily ground-nesting bees or twig-nesting bees, most of which are solitary, such as leafcutter bees.[6] With the leafcutter bee, as in most such bees, when the pollen ball is complete, the female lays an egg on top of the pollen ball, and seals the brood cell. The egg hatches and the larva consumes the pollen directly; the pollen is not stored separately from the brood.[7] This method of pollen usage can also be seen in the wood-nesting bee species Xylocopa sulcatipes[8] and Xylocopa varipuncta.


Like honey and propolis, other well-known honey bee products that are gathered rather than secreted (i.e., in contrast to royal jelly and beeswax), the exact chemical composition depends on the plants the worker bees gather the pollen from, and can vary from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, colony to colony, even in the same apiary, with no two samples of bee pollen 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 is said to be 40–60% simple sugars (fructose and glucose), 20–60% proteins, 3% minerals and vitamins, 1–32% fatty acids, and 5% diverse other components.[9] A study of bee pollen samples showed that they may contain 188 kinds of fungi and 29 kinds of bacteria.[10] Despite this microbial diversity, stored pollen (also called bee bread) is a preservation environment similar to honey, and contains consistently low microbial biomass.[11]

Use as a health supplement

Bee pollen has been touted by herbalists as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions,[12] but there is no good evidence that bee pollen has any health benefits other than as a source of nutrition.[13][14] Potential risks of consuming bee pollen include contamination by fungal mycotoxins, pesticides, or toxic metals.[14] Bee pollen is safe for short term use, but for those with pollen allergies, allergic reactions may occur (shortness of breath, hives, swelling, and anaphylaxis).[13] Bee pollen is not safe for pregnant women and should not be used during breastfeeding.[13] The Food and Drug Administration has warned against the use of some bee pollen products because they are adulterated with unapproved drugs including sibutramine and phenolphthalein.[15][16]


Bee pollen cell vertically stacked
Vertical dissection of cells from a comb, showing the packing of different types of pollen over time
  1. ^ Oxford Canadian Dictionary
  2. ^ Gilliam, Martha (1979). "Microbiology of pollen and bee bread: the yeasts". Apidologie. 10: 45–53.
  3. ^ a b Mutsaers, Marieke; van Blitterswijk, Henk; van‘t Leven, Leen; Kerkvliet, Jaap; van de Waerdt, Jan (2005). Bee products properties, processing and marketing (PDF). Wageningen: Agromisa Foundation. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-90-8573-028-6.
  4. ^ Bogdanov, Stefan (2017) [2011]. "Chapter 2:Pollen: Nutrition, Functional Properties, Health". The Pollen Book. 2. Bee Product Science. pp. 1–31.
  5. ^ Sammataro, Diana; Avitabile, Alphonse (1998). The Beekeeper's Handbook. Cornell University Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-8014-8503-9.
  6. ^ "Examination of "pollen Balls" in the nests of the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee, Megachile rotundata". United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  7. ^ Thorp, Robbin W. (5 March 2013). "Vernal pool flowers and their specialist bee pollinators". California Vernal Pools.
  8. ^ Gerling, Dan; Hurd, Paul David; Hefetz, Abraham (1983). Comparative behavioral biology of two Middle East species of carpenter bees (Xylocopa Latreille)(Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  9. ^ Staff writer (September 2011). "What Is Bee Bread?". Archived from the original on 2016-07-11. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  10. ^ Black, Jacquelyn G. (2004). Microbiology. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-42084-2.
  11. ^ Anderson, Kirk E.; Carroll, Mark J.; Sheehan, Tim; Lanan, Michele C.; Mott, Brendon M.; Maes, Patrick; Corby-Harris, Vanessa (5 November 2014). "Hive-stored pollen of honey bees: many lines of evidence are consistent with pollen preservation, not nutrient conversion". Molecular Ecology. 23 (23): 5904–5917. doi:10.1111/mec.12966. PMC 4285803. PMID 25319366.
  12. ^ Yang, Kai; Wu, Dan; Ye, Xingqian; Liu, Donghong; Chen, Jianchu; Sun, Peilong (2013-01-23). "Characterization of Chemical Composition of Bee Pollen in China". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 61 (3): 708–718. doi:10.1021/jf304056b. ISSN 0021-8561. PMID 23265625.
  13. ^ a b c "Bee Pollen Benefits and Side Effects". WebMD. Retrieved April 16, 2014. after years of research, scientists still cannot confirm that bee pollen has any health benefits", "medical research has not shown that bee pollen is effective for any of these health concerns
  14. ^ a b Denisow, Bożena; Denisow-Pietrzyk, Marta (2016-10-01). "Biological and therapeutic properties of bee pollen: a review". Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 96 (13): 4303–4309. doi:10.1002/jsfa.7729. ISSN 1097-0010. PMID 27013064.
  15. ^ "Public Notification: "Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen Capsules" Contains Hidden Drug Ingredient". Food and Drug Administration. October 24, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  16. ^ "FDA warns consumers not to use Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen capsules". Food and Drug Administration. April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.

External links


Apifresh is a European project funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Program. It started on 1 July 2010 and it will last three years. The project is developed by a Consortium set up by partners from different European Countries. It is formed by four Industrial Associations, three SMEs and three research centres.

Apifresh project has come out in several media:

La Rioja Government newsletter


Madrimasd (Science and Research News from Spain)

Magazize O Apicultor

Computers and Electronics in Agriculture



Apitherapy is a branch of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products, including honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom. Proponents of apitherapy make claims for its health benefits which are unsupported by evidence-based medicine.


Beekeeping (or apiculture) is the maintenance of bee colonies, commonly in man-made hives, by humans. Most such bees are honey bees in the genus Apis, but other honey-producing bees such as Melipona stingless bees are also kept. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect their honey and other products that the hive produce (including beeswax, propolis, flower pollen, bee pollen, and royal jelly), to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or "bee yard".

Chaetodactylus krombeini

Chaetodactylus krombeini, (Krombein's hairy-footed pollen mite), was described by Karl Krombein and E. W. Baker in the 1960s. The mites are about 0.5 mm across, with the females larger than the males. Pollen mites are a kleptoparasitic pest of Megachilid solitary bees, with Ch. krombeini found with Osmia lignaria of North America, (the Blue Orchard Mason Bee). Pollen mites do not feed on bees, but rather their provisions, and are harmful because they consume the food resources and starve or stunt the developing larvae; there is evidence that pollen mites also directly harm the egg by puncturing it.The common name is somewhat misleading, as pollen mites consume more nectar than pollen. Both their feeding habits and their size differs significantly from Varroa destructor, the mite very harmful to the European Honey Bee. Although both are classified as mites, varroa mites are more closely related to ticks and only distantly related to Chaetodactylus.

A mason bee, upon emerging from its nest, may be burdened by hundreds of hitchiking pollen mites. While mites do shed off bees after leaving the nest, including during mating, studies find that mites are rarely picked up when visiting flowers.

The mite's life cycle is necessarily tied to the bee's reproductive cycle, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. They have both mobile and immobile phases that are reproductive and non-reproductive, at times simultaneously. Ch. krombeini appears to be more successful in humid conditions, possibly because the food mass stays moist longer under these conditions; heat and dehydration is sometimes used for pollen mite pest management.

Flea circus

A flea circus is a circus sideshow attraction in which fleas are attached (or appear to be attached) to miniature carts and other items, and encouraged to perform circus acts within a small housing.

Frederick C. Kulow

Frederick C. Kulow (born in 1925, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; died December 2, 2004 in New London, New Hampshire) was an independent U.S. businessman who founded several businesses focusing primarily on nutrition and natural food products.

He received his bachelor's degree from Duke University and attended the graduate school of business administration at Harvard, as well as the marketing management program at Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

A skilled athlete in his youth, he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and the Washington Senators baseball teams. Kulow served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1955, and reached the rank of lieutenant commander.

Before starting his own businesses, Kulow was group president of Ward Foods Inc. in New York City; president and chief executive officer of Educator Biscuit Co. Inc. in Lowell, Massachusetts; corporate group vice president for Fairmont Foods Co. Inc. in Lowell; corporate group vice president for Fairmont Foods Co. in Omaha, Neb.; national sales manager for Pepperidge Farm Inc. in Norwalk, Conn.; and sales manager for Continental Baking Co. in Rye, N.Y.

The companies Kulow founded included Health from the Sun, Borlind of Germany, All Terrain, Bioriginal Food & Science, Bee Pollen from England, and Sanhelios. Kulow also pioneered many natural products categories including essential fatty acids and pollen/propolis. His companies imported products from Germany, France, Canada, England, Denmark, Switzerland and Bermuda.

Kulow's greatest contribution to the natural foods industry is considered to be his victory over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concerning the ability to sell essential fatty acids. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) argued that EFAs (e.g., evening primrose oil, flax oil, borage oil, black currant oil and combinations) were unapproved food additives. Kulow's victory was significant because the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was altered to bar the FDA from using the "unapproved additive" argument to regulate dietary supplements.

Kulow also served as a chairman of the Supply Side of the Natural Nutritional Foods Association and a member of its boards of directors. He served on the board of directors of Borlind of Germany, All Terrain and Bioriginal Food & Science until his death. He also taught business at St. Joseph's College.

He was a family man as well. He married Polly Mattson and together they had 5 children, Linda, Rick, Rob, Brad and David Kulow. He was also a grandfather of 12 children Torrey, Kate, Kim, Nick, Haley, Alex, Laurel, Spencer, Emma, Doug, Tina and John Kulow.

Gary Fanelli

Gary M. Fanelli (born October 24, 1950) is a long-distance runner from the United States who represented American Samoa in the marathon at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Fanelli's 2:25:35 performance at the Olympics is an American Samoan national record. Known for running in costume, he has been called "the crown prince of road racing", "the king of costume", and "road-racing's longest-running joke".

Health shake

A health shake is a blended drink intended to be healthful for one to consume and some are commercially marketed for that purpose. They are often consumed by sportspeople as part of a fitness diet or as a meal replacement (e.g. an instant breakfast). Health shakes may include a wide range of ingredients, including powdered nutrients, superfoods, bee pollen, peanut butter, coconut oil, bean powder, clover sprouts, etc.

Bodybuilders sometimes drink a protein shake to help build and recover muscles. While some health shakes have more calories than a plate of pancakes or a cheese omelet, these extra calories are accompanied by nutrients and both may be required by athletes in training. Smoothies—particularly green smoothies—are arguably a type of health shake, except stereotypical health shakes often contain some processed ingredients rather than just raw fruit and vegetables. Factory-made products often contain sweeteners and other additives (e.g. antioxidants, preservatives).

Joe's Pub

Joe's Pub, one of the six performance spaces within The Public Theater, is a music venue and restaurant that hosts live performances across genres and arts, ranging from cabaret to modern dance to world music. Joe's Pub is located at 425 Lafayette Street near Astor Place in Manhattan, New York City. It is named after Joseph Papp, the theatrical producer who established the New York Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater and the free Shakespeare in the Park program in Central Park.

The venue is notable for being where Amy Winehouse and Adele made their U.S. headlining concert debuts. In 2013, in its 15th anniversary year, the Pub was declared one of Rolling Stone Magazine's 10 Best Clubs in America.


Kigelia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae. The genus consists of only one species, Kigelia africana, which occurs throughout tropical Africa, from Eritrea and Chad south to northern South Africa, and west to Senegal and Namibia. Common in India, with many medicinal uses, the species's distribution is most certainly anthropogenic. The sausage tree grows a fruit that is up to 60 cm (2 feet) long, weighs about 7 kg (15 pounds), and looks like a sausage.


Moths comprise a group of insects related to butterflies, belonging to the order Lepidoptera. Most lepidopterans are moths, and there are thought to be approximately 160,000 species of moth, many of which have yet to be described. Most species of moth are nocturnal, but there are also crepuscular and diurnal species.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is a United States government agency which explores complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It was initially created as the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM), and renamed the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) before receiving its current name.

NCCIH is one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the Department of Health and Human Services of the federal government of the United States.

Its stated mission is: "to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care".


Pollen is a fine to coarse powdery substance comprising pollen grains which are male microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat made of sporopollenin that protects the gametophytes during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants, or from the male cone to the female cone of coniferous plants. If pollen lands on a compatible pistil or female cone, it germinates, producing a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule containing the female gametophyte. Individual pollen grains are small enough to require magnification to see detail. The study of pollen is called palynology and is highly useful in paleoecology, paleontology, archaeology, and forensics.

Pollen in plants is used for transferring haploid male genetic material from the anther of a single flower to the stigma of another in cross-pollination. In a case of self-pollination, this process takes place from the anther of a flower to the stigma of the same flower.Pollen is commonly used as food and food supplement. However, because of agricultural practices, it is often contaminated by agricultural pesticides.

Pollen (band)

Pollen was a power pop band originally hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They released four albums and two split records over their eight years together.

Pollen basket

The pollen basket or corbicula (plural corbiculae) is part of the tibia on the hind legs of certain species of bees. They use the structure in harvesting pollen and carrying it to the nest or hive. Other species of bees have scopae instead.

Pollen sac

Pollen sac may refer to:

Structures in plants that hold pollen

Bee pollen, sacs or balls of pollen packed by bees

Specialty foods

Specialty foods are foods that are typically considered as "unique and high-value food items made in small quantities from high-quality ingredients". Consumers typically pay higher prices for specialty foods, and may perceive them as having various benefits compared to non-specialty foods.

Compared to staple foods, specialty foods may have higher prices due to more expensive ingredients and labor. Some food stores specialize in or predominantly purvey specialty foods. Several organizations exist that promote specialty foods and its purveyors.

Taste You (Cheyne song)

"Taste You" is the second and final single to be taken from Australian singer Cheyne Coates debut album.


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