Pollen Information


Pollen grains are small (6-200 um in diameter), male reproduction units (gametophytes) formed in the anthers of the higher flowering plants.

Depending on the fertilization process and the mode of transport from one flower to the next, i.e. insects, water or wind, each species of plants has evolved a characteristic pollen type. Thus, the pollen grains from most species can be distinguished by their outer form and/or by their chemical composition or content of nutrients.

Science of Pollen or Analysis of Pollen

The knowledge of this is used in the identification of paleontological discoveries (paleopalynology) and in the identification of geographic and botanical origin of honeys (melissopalynology). Natural honey always contains pollen!

Pollen are produced in huge quantities: Horse chestnut: 180,000 pollen per blossom, 42 million per inflorescence.


Plants are offering pollen at different times during the day.

Morning types: Poppies, Dandelion, Roses

Afternoon-types: bean

Whole day types: Fruit trees, Raspberry, Blackberry

Process of Collecting

Bee works blossom with mandibles and front legs

Bee moistens the pollen with nectar or honey from honey sac

Brushes the pollen to hind leg into pollen basket using all legs and tongue

Bees usually stick with one type of blossom the whole day. Thus the resulting pollen pellet on its hind leg contains only one or very few pollen species and has a typical color: yellow, orange, grey, red, purple, green, black and others


A bee colony can collect up to 25–30 kg (55-66 lbs) of pollen.

10-30% of collected amount can be harvested without negative effect on colony

Storage of Pollen in Hive


Pollen stored in the combs is partially fermented by enzyme added by the bees during collection and storage. The partially fermented pollen mixture is also referred to as “beebread” has a different composition and nutritional value than the field collected pollen pellets.



Composition of pollen varies greatly. The following list indicates all components found in pollen and does not mean that a specific pollen contains all of the components. In fact that some pollen types (i.e., pine and eucalyptus) are nutritionally insufficient even for the raising of honeybee larvae.

On the other hand: a broad mixture of different pollen guarantees a wide spectrum of beneficial ingredients.

Major Components

The major components are proteins and amino acid, lipids (fats, oils or their derivatives) and sugars.

All amino acids essential to humans (phenylalanine, leucine, valine, isoleucine, arginine, histidine, lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan) can be found in pollen and most others as well, with proline being the most abundant.

Most simple sugars in pollen pellets such as fructose, glucose and sucrose come from the nectar or honey of the field forager. The polysaccharides like callose, pectin, cellulose, lignin sporopollenin and others are predominantly pollen components

Only 16 of the 31 fatty acids found in pollen had been identified. Palmitic acid is the most important one, followed by myristic, linoleic, oleic, linolenic, stearic acids etc. Simal et al., (1988) list 7 sterols, including cholesterol. Mono-, di- and triglycerides are fairly abundant, too.

More than 100 enzymes (proteins) are also present some, like glucose oxidase which is very important in honey have been added by the bees.

Minor components

Vitamins: Provitamin A (carotenoids), B-1 Thiamin, B-2 (Riboflavin), B-3 (Niacin), B-5 (panothenic acid), B-6 (Pyridoxine), B-12 (cyanocobalamine), Pantothenic acid, Vitamin C, F, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin H (Biotin), Vitamin K Choline, Inositol, Vitamin PP, Folic Acid, , Rutin.

Minerals and trace elements: Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Silica, ,Iodine, Zinc, Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Boron, and Titanium.

Nutritional Benefit

Bee pollen contains over 50 % more protein than beef, yet its fat content is very low. It is also an excellent vegetarian source of protein typically possessing more of the essential amino acids, pound for pound, than animal proteins like meat, eggs, and dairy products

The amazing bee has provided us with a beneficial natural food supplement. Long ago the Greeks and Romans called natural bee pollen “the life-giving dust” or the secret “ambrosia” eaten to acquire eternal youth. Pollen was entombed with pharaohs, it was used by the American Indians, and for centuries by tribes in China. In our modern times, scientists, gerontologists and nutritionists have rediscovered these bee-prepared foods and confirmed that they are able to promote benefits in the form of healing and rejuvenation. Some nutritionists state that you could live adequately on bee pollen alone. Science shows that bee pollen, that wondrous yet mysterious nectar, has natural rejuvenating powers, aids beauty, boosts energy, extends life span, fights allergies (and possibly even cancer) and relieves digestive disorders. Bee pollen bursts with easily-assimilated protein and lecithin, which nourish the brain and nervous system.

Digestion and Circulation

Bee pollen is known to be an accelerator of human growth. It regulates the action of the intestinal functions, especially in cases of chronic constipation or diarrhea, which have been resistant to antibiotic treatment. Pollen self-digests and aids the digestion of other foods. A natural occurrence with bee pollen is weight control. Taken into your digestive system, there is a speedy combustion, which makes fats burn faster and increases the rate of burned calories.

The stimulative effect of pollen and its possible improvement of food conversion in humans as well as animals, should be of particular interest to those who have an unbalanced or deficient diet. There are no hard scientific data to back up this information, but a detailed study might show tremendous potential benefit to a very large portion of human society. The only serious problem with incorporating pollen in foods like candy bars, sweets, desserts, breakfast cereals, tablets and even honey is the widespread allergic susceptibility of people to pollen from a wide variety of species

Medicinal benefits

Supported by scientific evidence, the only long-term observations on the medicinal effect of pollen are related to prostate problems and allergies.

In order to desensitize allergic patients, pollen is usually collected directly from the plants, to allow proper identification and purity. A pollen extract is then injected subcutaneously. Desensitization through ingestion of pollen is claimed, but has not received any scientific confirmation.

For treatment of various prostate problems, pollen is usually prescribed in its dry pellet form as collected by the bees. Pollen from different countries or regions seems to work equally well. However, pollen has not been officially recognized as a medicinal drug

Certain bacteriostatic effects have been demonstrated (Chauvin et al, 1952) but this is attributed to the addition of glucose oxidase (the same enzyme responsible for most antibacterial action in honey) by the honeybee when it mixes regurgitated honey or nectar with the pollen (Dustmann and Gunst, 1982). Therefore, this activity varies between pollen pellets and is much higher in beebread.

There is some evidence that ingested pollen can protect animals as well as humans against the adverse effects of x-ray radiation treatments

Table of claims of other medicinal benefits

Non-scientific claims and reports of benefits, cures or improvements derived

from the use or consumption of bee-collected pollen.


  • Athletic preformance
  • Digestive assimilation
  • Rejuvenation
  • General vitality
  • Skin vitality
  • Appetiteb
  • Haemoglobin content
  • Sexual prowess
  • Performances (of a race horse)

Cures or benefits:

  • Cancer in animals
  • Colds
  • Acne
  • Male Sterility
  • Anaemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Nervous ans endocrine Disorders
  • Ulcers

Detoxification and Immunity

Bee pollen is used as an immune system builder, has the ability to correct body chemistry and eliminate unhealthy conditions. European physicians note that people with an alcohol problem, when treated with pollen, show great reduction in alcohol cravings. Young people who want to get off heavy drugs go through minimal or no withdrawal when treated with bee pollen. It also has the ability to throw off poisons and toxic materials from the body.

Tests Show Improvements

In France and Poland some doctors have added pollen to children’s and adult’s diets and observed that, after a few days, all the people felt better and their blood analysis showed an improvement, especially anemic children. Pollen has been used for curing some ailments of our nervous system. After a week, people who take it become less nervous, more optimistic, are more eager to work, and depression disappears. It has also been known to help relieve diabetic symptoms. Doctors have obtained good results. In one test, 32g of pollen daily taken for 2 weeks lowered the amount of sugar in 1 liter of urine by 41.8 g. Dr. Chauvia and Dr. Lenormand say that pollen also contains an antibiotic similar to penicillin and is able to inhibit the development of some microorganisms such as Salmonella.

Help in Middle Age

Doctors have made another discovery, but they are not able to explain it entirely. Men who start eating 15g (1 tbsp.) of pollen daily when they are around 40-45 years old do not have any problem with their prostate gland. Current prostate problems can often be eliminated using pollen (including patients scheduled for surgery). Pollen for potency: It helps with the ability to perform the sexual act and the procreative capacity in cases of barenness and impotency. It is good for men over 40 and for menopausal women.

Help for Seniors

Pollen is very effective with seniors who do not have the appetite to maintain a healthy diet. All minerals in bee pollen are present in a highly digestible and organic form necessary for the digestion of many foods, functioning of glands, organs and nerves, and the balancing of blood, lymph, and aqueous and general metabolism system. Pollen also contains active antibiotic substances, which destroy bacteria on contact. Bee pollen is useful in cases of stress and nervous endocrine system disorders due to its high content of natural B Vitamins. Bee pollen increases energy and mental alertness and is believed to slow down the aging process.

Fighting Disease

By increasing the body’s healing power, the body can help build resistance to disease. It has been successfully used with allergies, asthma, chronic rheumatism, colitis, arteriosclerosis, insomnia, depression, failing memory, hay fever, to normalize intestinal activity, to lower cholesterol levels and stimulate appetite, lower high blood pressure, offset the effects of drugs and pollutants, anaemic conditions and attention deficit. It is especially useful in times of pregnancy, lactation and intensive physical or mental work. It maintains the high levels of energy required to keep up with hectic schedules, deadlines or long hours. Pollen brings back vitality without the dangers of artificial stimulants like caffeine, ephedra or quarana and can be taken safely at any time. It is a natural product, admirably tolerated, and compatible with other therapies. Bee pollen is a powerful food supplement for children, growing teens, and adults of all ages. Bee pollen is the only natural food that contains almost all of the 22 elements of which the human body is composed. Today, more than ten thousand tons of bee pollen is consumed as food or medicine all over the world every year! Everyone can benefit from taking Bee pollen!

How to take Bee Pollen

Adults: Start with 1 tsp. in the morning (1/2 hour before breakfast) followed with some water, juice or milk. Increase your intake every day by a few grains until reaching 2 tsp. a day (10 ml). For normal daily intakeYou may take up to 1 tbsp. (15 ml) daily.

Children: Start from 3 grains, increasing by 2 grains every few days until reaching 1/2 tsp. a day. You may mix pollen with raw honey and eat it, or dilute it in a liquid at room temperature.

Pollen buying

Quality control of pollen is difficult and under most circumstances impossible. It is therefore very important that the buyer knows the supplier well and can trust him.

Furthermore the production area, not only the residence or processing centre, should be free of agrochemicals and industrial pollution (and chemical treatments of the colonies).


Pollen, like other protein rich foods, loses its nutritional value rapidly when stored incorrectly. Fresh pollen stored at room temperature loses its quality within a few days. Fresh pollen stored in a freezer loses much of its nutritive value after one year. Longer, improper storage leads to the loss of a few particular amino acids, which cause deficiencies in brood rearing (Dietz, 1975). When dried to less than 10% (preferably 5%) moisture content at less than 45°C and stored out of direct sunlight, pollen can be kept at room temperature for a several months. The same pollen may be refrigerated at 5°C for at least a year or frozen to –15°C for many years without quality loss as tested by feeding to honeybee colonies and recording brood rearing rate (Dietz and Stephenson 1975 and 1980). Since sunlight, i.e. UV radiation, destroys the nutrient value of pollen, other more subtle characteristics probably suffer worse damage. Storage of dry pollen in dark glass containers, or in dark cool places, is therefore a requirement.


Main Source of information with all the references quoted above: