What is bee bread and what does it look like?
Bee Bread (also known as: Perga, Bee pollen, Ambrosia) is basically a mixture of pollen and honey. This substance is the main food source for larvae and young worker bees. The exact composition of the bee bread depends on the plants that the bees visit, location, time of year, and so on.
Bees also add extra secretions and microorganisms to prepare pollen for storage, which aids in its breakdown and release of amino acids and other nutrients.
What is bee bread made of?
The Bee Bread has a different composition from pollen because bees add honey and other secretions to make a high-nutrient source of proteins.
The bees do not consume the collected pollen directly, but they store it in the empty cells of the honeycomb. They also add nectar and digestive secretions, after which they seal the cell with honey.
After sealing, a fermentation process begins in the mixture.
In this way, the pollen mixture maintains its stability for a longer period of time, ie. a Bee bread is obtained.
Health benefits of bee bread
The nutritional value of bee bread increases as a result of the fermentation process performed by worker bees. This not only preserves pollen for a longer period of time, but also increases the bioavailability of nutrients, as some proteins are broken down into amino acids, starch is metabolized into simple sugars, and vitamins become more available.
Bee bread has more than 250 active substances (proteins, essential amino acids, reducing sugars, lipids, nucleic acids, crude fiber, minerals (Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, K, and Na), vitamins (provitamin A, vitamin E, niacin, thiamine, biotin, and folic acid), enzymes, phytosterols, flavonoids, and organic carotenoid pigments.
It is characterized by very high nutritional value and rich chemical composition. It also has high antioxidant activity. Hence its second name – ambrosia or food of the gods, due to its high energy composition and high protein concentration.
Other health benefits of bee bread:
- Antioxidant content in bee bread protects from free radicals and chronic diseases. Damage caused by free radicals is linked to chronic diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.
- Bee bread kills bacteria and improves the immunity
- Antioxidants also reduce chronic inflammation, eliminate harmful bacteria, fight infections and combat the growth and spread of tumors.
- Bee bread may lower risk factors of heart disease
- Animal studies have shown that bee bread can lower blood cholesterol levels.
- Bee bread enhances the detoxifying abilities of the liver. The liver is a vital organ in the human body that removes toxins from the blood.
- Bee bread can reduce inflammation and swelling.
Is bee bread safe to eat?
Consuming Bee bread is safe for most adults and children over 2 years, at least when taken for a short term. The recommended daily dose is 3-4 grains for children and 6-12 for adults.
Bee Bread can be consumed directly or mixed with yogurt, smoothie or other favorite drink or meal.
- People with pollen or bee sting allergies must be especially careful if they plan to consume bee bread, and they should consult with their doctor first. Bee bread (bee pollen) can cause serious allergic reactions, like shortness of breath, swelling, hives, itching, redness, and anaphylaxis.
- Bee bread should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women, and due to the presence of honey and other substances, it’s forbidden for babies under two years.
- People who take medications as blood thinners, must consult with their doctor first, if they plan to consume bee bread.