Pollen: properties, benefits and uses

Pollen is a by-product that is not produced directly by bees, but comes from the stamens of the flower, i.e. its male reproductive organs. Pollen grains are small microscopic particles of 20 to 40 microns, pale yellow to black in color, which are collected in groups of 4 in the anther, the terminal part of the stamen. These grains are often bristling with spines which facilitates their fixation in balls which will be recovered by the bees. Pollen is often frowned upon because of the allergies it causes, leading to runny noses and watery eyes, but pollen from the hive is a true gift that is a concentrate of virtues. Indeed, bee pollen is said to be "entomophilic", i.e. it is carried by insects during foraging, while pollen carried by the wind is "anemophilic", and these two types are significantly different: entomophilic pollen, unlike anemophilic pollen, is not allergenic, because allergies related to the latter come from inhalation and not from ingestion. However, there can be allergies to entomophilic pollen, but these are very rare and independent of other pollen allergies.

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What is the purpose of pollen?

Main properties

Stimulating properties: pollen is primarily a natural tonic and fortifier that improves the general condition of the body and strengthens the immune system. Its trace elements activate the enzymes involved in energy-producing metabolisms. Moreover, it stimulates the appetite, allowing weight gain, and gives strength to convalescents and sick people. Thanks to the presence of magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins and amino acids, it is an excellent intellectual tonic which stimulates the memory. It also acts on the mood by being euphoric, and it is preferable to take it in the morning. These properties are due to the presence of phenylalanine and tryptophan, two essential amino acids that participate in the synthesis of neuromediators (dopamine and adrenaline for phenylalanine, serotonin for tryptophan) regulating brain activity and balancing the mood. Against stress or low libido, pollen is therefore an ally of choice!

Digestive properties: pollen is a real ally of the intestinal flora. Thanks to its intestinal regulatory effect, it improves both diarrhea and constipation and overall has a positive effect on all digestive disorders. It brings fibers which activate the transit and have a "prebiotic" effect for the bacteria of the intestinal flora

Metabolic properties: pollen is a general stimulant of the body that will notably improve bone calcification and is thus useful for growth delays. And this is not its only positive effect, as it stimulates and regulates all functional imbalances related to an increased or decreased metabolism.

Antioxidant properties: thanks to its antioxidant molecules (trace elements, vitamins, polyphenols, rutins ...), pollen traps free radicals that are responsible for cellular degradation. Thus, it fights against senescence, and also helps to prevent hair loss thanks to Vitamin B3 and rutin.


Thanks to its richness in nutritive compounds with a thousand and one virtues, pollen is ideal in the following cases

  • Fatigue physical, psychological or sexual
  • Digestive disorders and transit problems
  • Aging of the body, hair loss
  • Rickets and growth disorders.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Pollen is used in fresh or dry form as a 3-week course of treatment, especially at the change of season. Fresh pollen should be kept in the fridge, and it should be chewed in the morning on an empty stomach, before drinking a glass of water. For dried pollen, you can let it dissolve in water a long time before (the day before) in order to take it in the morning on an empty stomach. The average recommended dose for an adult is 15-20 g per day for prevention and up to 30 g per day for an attack treatment. For adolescents, the dosage is 12-15 g per day.

Precautions for use

Pollen is not recommended for children under 12 without medical advice. Finally, pollen has no side effects or contraindications (except in cases of kidney failure), and care should be taken if you have a pollen allergy (although as seen above, this pollen is different from allergic pollen).

Fresh pollen should be frozen for best preservation. It can be kept for 6 to 8 days at room temperature.

How is pollen made and what is it made of?

Manufacturing and harvesting

Pollen corresponds to the male seed of the flowers, produced by the stamens, and is collected by the bee when she goes out to forage. Indeed, thanks to her hind legs, she collects this pollen and mixes it with honey and saliva to form small pellets stored in the "pollen baskets". These are then brought back, and deposited by the foragers, and then the pellets are carried by the workers to the cells surrounding the brood, in order to feed the larvae and the hive through the winter. Thus, pollen is arranged in these cells, and the workers insert a thin layer of propolis to prevent any gas exchange. From then on, in a few days of anaerobic fermentation (without oxygen), the pollen is transformed into bee bread, which is used to feed the young larvae and nurses. This product is virtually unknown to the general public, but it is the only form in which bees consume pollen!

But back to our return to the hive and the harvest. Pollen being an essential element for bees, the only source of protein, it is an indispensable for the rearing of larvae, the food of bees and the survival of the hive: without pollen, no royal jelly, no brood, no wax, no swarm... and no more bees. Thus, the beekeeper's harvest must be reasoned and he must respect the balance of the hive. To do this, he places traps or pollen traps at the entrance of the hive, which are a kind of grid that will "catch" a few balls of pollen when the bees return to the fold. The size of the mesh must be precisely defined: neither too large nor too small, it must allow to take just a small part of the pollen collected in order not to jeopardize the survival of the hive. Over the year, the beekeeper will collect 2 to 4 kg of pollen, corresponding to about 10% of the total harvest.

Pollen harvested in this way, or fresh pollen, is very moist, and can be sold as is as long as it is frozen quickly so as not to lose its properties. Otherwise, the pollen must be dried quickly by partial dehydration or drying, before being marketed in solid form. Moreover, in both cases, it is necessary to sort the pollen because impurities such as insects, bees' legs, or other waste are found at this time.


Pollen pellets produced by bees contain on average :

  • 30-55% carbohydrates
  • 20-35% proteins.
  • 7-15% water.
  • 1-13% lipids
  • 2-6% minerals.
  • 0.3 to 20% fiber.
  • 2-5% of other compounds.

Moreover, as pollen comes from the stamen of flowers, there are as many pollen grains as there are species of flowers! Thus, the composition of pollen is very variable according to its origin.

However, regardless of the pollen, its richness lies in its high protein and amino acid content (20% on average). These are essential amino acids, enzymes and other nutrients, and it is said that eating 100 grams of pollen is equivalent to eating 7 eggs, no less!

Organic dry pollen Products of the hive

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