Bee Healthy

Bee Pollen is the Only Food You’ll Ever Need

(Published Jan 29, 2016)

It appears that bees know a thing or two bee pollen about producing the perfect food. Bee pollen contains all of the essential minerals required by the body. And, because the pollen is meant for young bees, 40% of it is protein, half in the form of amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body.

Jeff Cripe of Eagle Creek Apiary is one of the JCC Farmers Market’s vendors. When his own health was at risk a few years ago after being exposed to mold, a friend told him about bee pollen. He credits it with his quick recovery and increase in energy. “Just a tablespoonful with water and roughage is all that’s needed to get the full benefits,” he said.

“It tastes a lightly sweet with an earthy grain flavor. Make sure not to cook it, though. That decreases its effectiveness,” Cripe said.

He harvests his bee pollen in early spring to decrease the chance of the bees possibly picking up harmful additives used by local industry and consumer growers. He has 115 hives and produces about 400 pounds of pollen a year. In addition, he offers a full array of products—honey, spun honey and beeswax candles (he has one that burns for 40 hours!).

Rabbi Goldstein has reviewed the bee pollen and it is kosher. For more information on all bee products, Rabbi Goldstein refers to an article on the Star K website:

The reason you won’t see bee pollen in abundance is because it can’t be manufactured. And a synthetic equivalent also has not been created. The only source of bee pollen is from live bees. One teaspoon of pollen takes one bee working eight hours a day for a month to gather.

Bee pollen is extremely rich in carotenes, which are metabolic precursors of vitamin A. It is also high In B complex and vitamins C, D, E and Lecithin. 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.

Bee pollen should not be confused with the pollen that is blown by the wind and is a common cause of allergies. Bee pollen is heavier and stickier – “and is collected off bees’ legs” by special devices placed at the entrance to hives.

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

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

Other: Amino Acid, Carbohydrates, Fatty Acids, Enzymes & Co-Enzymes, Fats.

Jeff Cripe is owner of Eagle Creek Aviary