Monday, February 1, 2016

Bee Pollen Benefits

Honey bee collecting pollen
Honey is probably your favorite hive treat, but pollen has a lot to offer. Pollen is the yellowish powder that comes from flowers. Have you ever smelled a flower so close that you had a colorful powder on your nose? That's pollen! When honey bees gather nectar from flowers, they also collect and carry pollen from flower to flower and finally back to their hive to use as food. Honey bees mix pollen with nectar to make beebread, which they feed to the larvae (baby bees that will hatch soon). 

Related image
Bee pollen collected for humans to eat 

Scientists say bee pollen is a nutritious super food. Have you ever tried it? Pollen granules contain many vitamins, minerals and protein. Eating pollen is said to boost energy, improve digestive health and aid your immune system. One amazing thing about pollen is that it can help with allergies! Eating pollen from your area can help your body build up an immunity to pollens, with similar results to an allergy shot. You can buy bee pollen from a local beekeeper, farmer's market or health food store. It tastes a little crunchy, powdery, sweet and floral--like nothing you've tasted before! Safety is important, so ask your doctor before you decide to try pollen as a supplement. 

Honey bee covered in pollen
There are many benefits to bee pollen, but the biggest benefit comes to us when honey bees pollinate fruits, vegetables, nuts and other crops. Foods like blueberries, melons, broccoli, almonds and apples rely on honey bee pollination. As a bee buzzes from blossom to blossom, the tiny pollen particles coat her fuzzy body and legs. When she arrives at the next flower, a portion of the golden dust is transferred to that blossom and pollination happens. Check out this fun pollination activity you can try at home...with Cheetos! Whether we eat pollen or enjoying the fruits of pollination, we have the fuzzy, hard-working honey bee to thank!