- How much do you eat?
- What does it taste like? Does it taste good enough to eat alone or is it going to make other food taste weird? Which leads to…
- What are good foods to combine it with?
So, we decided to address bee pollen in this post and give ideas on ways to eat bee pollen with, what it tastes like, and the benefits of eating bee pollen.
What is bee pollen?
Bee pollen is simply the pollen collected from flowers that honey bees visit on their pollinating trips. Bees collect the pollen on their furry little bodies and store the pollen in two pollen sacs or baskets (technically called corbicula) on either side of their two rear legs that are meant specifically to carry pollen. Bees bring the pollen back to the hive and store it in the cells of the beeswax to use as a food source.
What we eat is the fresh pollen straight off the flowers, but the bees do a little bit more to the pollen to make it ready for them to eat. When the bees get back into the hive with the pollen they deposit the pollen into cells of the honeycomb and mix in nectar and digestive fluids.
Note: Since bee pollen is food for honey bees, it is important that beekeepers act responsibly and ONLY collect bee pollen from the honey bees when the bees have plenty pollen stored in the hive for food resources.
What does bee pollen taste like?
Bee pollen has a very soft, powdery texture that easily breaks up on the tongue and breaks down and blends well when mixed into foods.
Bee pollen has a somewhat sweet flavor, although it is not very similar to the sweetness level of honey.
What’re the benefits of eating bee pollen?
People swear by bee pollen to help fight seasonal allergies and we are some of those people. The idea goes that eating bee pollen helps to build up your immunity to local allergens by giving yourself a small dose of the thing that you’re allergic to, similar to vaccines.
Bee pollen is considered a “superfood” due to its high content of concentrated of protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Bee pollen varies depending on the range of flowers available in a hives’ pollinating area, but according to a number of sources, bee pollen can contain the following:
- Protein (~20% of its make up)
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D, E, K
- Minerals and trace minerals: potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, nickel, silicon, titanium, zinc, and selenium
- All essential amino acids (20) plus 2 non-essential amino acids
- More than 100 enzymes
- ~8 flavonoids
(Sources: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations http://www.fao.org/docrep/w0076e/w0076e10.htm and Savannah Bee Company http://savannahbee.com/blog/what-is-bee-pollen/)
What should I eat bee pollen with?
Bee pollen can be sprinkled on and/or stirred into a lot of different types of foods. Here are a few idea:
How much should I use bee pollen?
If taking bee pollen for seasonal allergies, start with a small amount of bee pollen granules and work your way up to about a couple teaspoons or half a tablespoon a day. If you just want to get the nutritional benefit of bee pollen, add as much or as little as you’d like.