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Bee Pollen
Overview
Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. It comes from the pollen that collects on the bodies of bees. Bee pollen may also include bee saliva. It's important to avoid confusing bee pollen with natural honey, honeycomb, bee venom, or royal jelly. These products do not contain bee pollen.

Bee pollen is rich in the B vitamin complex, (which gives energy), carotenes, including vitamins C and E, two potent antioxidants, and is made up of approximately 55% carbohydrates. There are many health benefits attributed to bee pollen which have been verified in independent clinical tests all over the world. In Europe, especially Germany, it is very popular as a supplement.

Bee pollen is available at many health food stores. You may find bee pollen in other natural dietary supplements as well as in skin softening products used for baby's diaper rash or eczema. You may also hear recommendations for using bee pollen for alcoholism, asthma, allergies, health maintenance, or stomach problems. Bee pollen is also recommended by some herbalists to enhance athletic performance, reduce side effects of chemotherapy, and improve allergies and asthma.

 
What is Bee Pollen ?
Pollen is the male seed of a plant; worker bees gather bee pollen form several plants, mix them with enzymes in their saliva to form granules; then, they carry these bee pollen granules in the ‘bee basket’ to their hives. Bee pollens are collected by humans with a special device placed at the entrance of bee hives; hence as the bees enter, the special device traps the pollen granules from their bodies.

How it is made?
A full colony of bees can actually pull in as many as 50,000 loads of pollen a day. The vital pollen is taken from the stamen of flowers. It is the male reproductive part of the flower that the bees collect.

The bees pack the powder into granules, adding honey or nectar from honey sacs where it is then transported back to the hive. Finally, an enzyme is added to prevent germination, metabolizing the pollen for food, thus preserving the bee pollen benefit nutritionally. It is gathered for human consumption and use with a special device that is placed at the entrance of the hive through which the bees pass.

As the bees pass through the device, it causes the pollen to come off the bee's legs, trapping it.


Benefits / uses
Increase in energy levels
Strength to bones and muscles
Lowering of bad cholesterol (LDL) levels
Mental alertness
Sound sleep
Better sex life


Best Form For Human Consumption
There are different bee pollen markets on the market today especially those that are imported form China; it is important to note that a lot of these products contain contaminates because of the high level of pollution in the country of origin. The purest bee pollen is sourced from New Zealand because of the clean environment in that country.

Because of the absorption problem of pollen, you should buy a brand that is turned into powder before being encapsulated; this helps to increase the digestion and absorption rate of the product.


Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
Bee pollen appears to be safe, at least when taken for a short term. But if you have pollen allergies, you may get more than you bargained for. Bee pollen can cause a serious allergic reaction -- including shortness of breath, hives, swelling, and anaphylaxis.
Bee pollen is not safe for pregnant women. A woman should also avoid using bee pollen if she is breastfeeding.

 
Research studies / References
arw a b Wong, Cathy (February 2, 2005). "Bee Pollen". about.com. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
arw Sammataro, Diana and Avitabile, Alphonse. (2011) The Beekeeper's Handbook. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-801-47694-1
arw "What Is Bee Bread?". Keeping-honey-bees.com. September 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
arw Black, Jacquelyn G. (2004). Microbiology. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-42084-0.
arw Oxford Canadian Dictionary