Pollen is the male element produced by flowers to reproduce, which will later be collected by the bees for food.
Pollen is a microscopic element found in flowers, its their male component and an essential part of their reproduction. We could say it has a certain resemblance to an egg; it contains a shell that protects the inner core and nutritional reserves in order to survive.
Pollen is an important part of the bees lives, as it is collected by these in order to feed themselves. They sweep it from the flowers, then knead it with honey and create little balls which they will carry in a special cavity located in their third pair of legs. Once the bees arrive at the hive, beekeepers place a trap at the entrance to capture a part of the pollen and thereby allow them to enter the hive with enough for themselves.
An interesting composition
Pollen has a rich and rounded composition, although it differs depending on the plant from which it comes from. In broad terms, 40% is sugar, 20% is protein, 2% is fat and it will have all the essential amino acids in addition to several vitamins (such as A, B1, B2 or B6), antioxidants and a large number of flavonoids, phytosterols and minerals. All of these components make it an exceptional quality food supplement.
History and current studies
Ibn el Beithar and Maimonides, two of the most famous Arab physicians of the XII century, were already recommending its use as a tonic, although the first to use it as a scientific term was Linnaeus in his work Sponsalia Plantarum, published in 1747.
Since then, its morphology and composition has been studied, nowadays the scientific revision of Swiss Dr. Bogdanov, Pollen: production, nutrition and health: a review is of great interest. Other interesting pieces of research are Hiroe Maruyama’s et al. (2010) from the Pharmacy University in Gifu (Japan) on the anti-inflammatory capacity of Spanish pollen and the interview with Ventura Coll in the American Journal of Biomedical Science & Research.
So, we can say that pollen is a very enriching and interesting element in the beekeeping world and thanks to its composition it has a large number of benefits for human nutrition that we will tell you about in upcoming posts. 😉 Don’t miss out!