I’ve heard about bee pollen for years but never decided to add it to my already extensive health and wellness regimen. That changed last week after sitting in on the guest speaker for a Gardening Merit badge for Scouting that my boys attend. She was from Clemson University and was sure to tell us that Clemson isn’t just known for football but also for grants to educate the public and groups about pollination, commodities and why pollinators are so very important to the environment and the food chain. I could go on and on about all the interesting facts she shared with the group but alas I just want to focus on Bee Pollen Benefits and teach you the Waggle (the language of the bees).
She held up a Bottle of Bee pollen that she had gotten in my new town of Travelers Rest, about 1/2 mile from our rental house. Apparently it’s the only local shop like it around. I went in to that store to get a few gifts for some friends on my last trip to Memphis. The Carolina Honey Bee Company has an additional larger store a few paces behind the main street store. This store has all the gear if you want to do honey hives. Way cool!
On to the Bee Pollen discussion:
Bees store this pollen in their legs and when they go into the hive they empty them into a holding place. The collectors get the extra whilst the bees empty their “honey belly” in order to make the hives and thus honey. Some people might say bee vomit! Laken and I didn’t know how in the world they are able to get the pollen from their legs. We had visions of human workers somehow extracting the pollen from their little legs.
Bee Pollen benefits:
- Protein, carbs, water and fats, vitamins, minerals, antibiotics and antioxidants. Up to 7% protein in some regions and up to 35% for other regions
- over 250 active substances including calcium & phosphorus
- summer is different than fall collections reaping different benefits with spring time collection containing different ammino acids.
- Test-tube, animal and some human studies have shown that bee pollen antioxidants can reduce chronic inflammation, eliminate harmful bacteria, fight infections and combat the growth and spread of tumors. (healthline.com)
- may help lower heart disease and the “bad” cholesterol and lipid (fat) oxidation
- may boost liver function (Your liver is your largest filter!)
- anti-inflammatory and swelling reduction
- may reduce allergies and kill bacteria which can boost immune system
- may aid wound healing and prevent infections
- may contain anti-cancer properties
- Ease Menopause symptoms like HOT FLASHES (ladies, go buy some today!) One study showed that women’s symptoms improved by 71%
- Iron deficient rats absorbed 66% more iron likely linked to the vitamin C and bioflavonoids which boost iron absorption. They aren’t sure if results can be translated to humans benefit yet.
- also helps increase absorption of calcium and phosphorus
- it may speed up metabolism and promote longevity
Aren’t You Loving These Benefits?
We were concerned about how it was going to taste so I just sprinkled a few into my hand as well as did both of my kids ages 15 and 11. We all liked the taste and have been eating some every day. I like to put about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon in my protein shakes. Other uses are in soups, salads and in my honey mustard sauce for my sweet potato tots. Thus far, my allergy eyes and spring sniffles have gone into hiding.
Try and find some at a local nutrition shop harvested in an area near your city.
On to the Waggle Dance. This is their form of communication. By performing this dance, successful foragers can share information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen, to water sources, or to new nest-site locations with other members of the colony
Watch the short video below to see direction and next time you have an opportunity to see some of these amazing creatures at work you will have a greater understanding and appreciation of their place in our world.
1 waggle to the left and one to the right = short distance
2 waggles to the left and 2 to the right = medium distance
3 waggles to the left and 3 to the right = long distance
I had a video of Laken leading fellow troop members while role playing the waggle but I have spared him embarrassment for this post.
Can you make your yard more bee friendly?
Do you have a water source nearby? If you put a bowl or a hanging bath be sure to put a rock for the creatures (wasps, bees) to rest on to get a drink to avoid drowning.
Can you leave a patch of wildflowers un-mowed?
Do you have shelter nearby so they can rest from the elements like sun, rain and wind?
For those of you who wish to shop online at The Carolina Honey Bee, here’s a link to their website. I already checked and did not see bee pollen online. #carolinahoneybee
My Memphis peeps, you will have to come visit me to get some.
Find Tonya online with live personal training/coaching or hire her to write a program for you with your own personalized 4-6 minute demo of each of your custom workouts included. Greenville, South Carolina site to be available this year in the town of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. Stay tuned for more details as we are working on securing a location. Memphis location 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 is no longer onsite for training, massage and nutrition coaching.
Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, LMT, TPI Level 1
Owner/Dir. of Training