What is pollen?
Pollen is the male gametophyte of seed plants. Pollen grains contain the male germ cells (elements) that are produced by all plants, flowers or blossoms. Each plant has its specific shape, size and a colour of pollen. Each pollen grain typically consists of one to a few cells.
Pollen is dispersed by wind or by insects. Bees are collecting pollen grains and are carrying pollen in a little pollen basket (corbicula) back to the hive using the last third pair of the hind legs. During collection and when firming a pollen grain bees also add some extracts.
A honey bee moistens the forelegs with protruding tongue and brushes the pollen that has collected on head, body and forward appendages to the hind legs. The pollen is transferred to the pollen comb on the hind legs and then combed, pressed, compacted, and transferred to thecorbicula on the outside surface of the tibia of the hind legs. A single hair functions as a pin that secures the middle of the pollen load. Honey and/or nectar is used to moisten the dry pollen. The mixing of the pollen with nectar or honey changes the color of the pollen. The cells are not filled to the top with pollen only up to ¾ of the cell size. When mixed with honey, this pollen may be stored in comb cells where it undergoes a lactic acid fermentation process in order to produce ´bee bread´(which contains high levels of vitamin E and K.)
What is a pollen grain?
Plants produce microscopic round or oval pollen grains to reproduce. Pollen is the haploid male gametophyte generation of the plant and each pollen grain typically consists of one to a few cells. The wall of the pollen grain cosists of two layers, the exine (outer wall) and intine (inner wall). The exine may be smooth or ornamented with spines, warts, granules, pores or furrows. The distinctive ornamentation permits the identification of the pollen grains.
What pollen contains?
- proteins bielkoviny
- amino acids
- nucleic acids
- natural sugars (fructose, glucose, pentose, raffinose)
- minerals: NA, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Co, S, Cu, P, Si, Se,
- organic acids,
- enzymes: pepsin, trypsin, invertase, phosphatase,
- vitamins: A, B, C,
- essantial oils,
- growth regulators,
- active carotenoids (provitamin A) and many more important elements.
A dosage of from 15 to 20 grams (one-half ounce) will usually meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults. (To begin with - a dose as large as 1 tablespoonful, twice a day, after one week gradually increase the dosage from 1 up to 4 tablespoonsfuls)
The overall taste of bee pollen ranges from bitter to sweet, depending upon the particular variety or species of flower from which it was obtained.
- used in dietetics,
- an effective form of skin care during corrective dermatology,
- assisting in both weight gain or loss,
- reduces of hypertension,
- regulates and stimulate the metabolism,
- regulates disorders of the nervous or endocrine glandular systems,
- stabilizes effects of either increasing low blood pressure or reducing high blood pressure
- used in anemic children
- stimulates both adrenal and liver secretions
- provides an overall feeling of well-being.
Fresh pollen is stored in freezer, or its dried and stored in a dry dark place to avoid the air humidity and the sun light.