By Taylor Rademacher, CH
I grew up being terrified of bees … petrified! And I embraced the negative perspective of them that so many others carry. But my awareness of the precious honeybee developed quickly. So just how valuable is the honeybee? I found some interesting answers while researching Apitherapy (bee product therapy) beginning with Bee Pollen… an untouchable superfood.
According to the Institute of Apiculture in Taranov, Russia, honeybee pollen is the richest source of vitamins found in Nature in any single food. They report that it is richer in protein than any meat (by equal weight), and it’s very rich in a compound called rutin which, because of its benefits for the venous system and circulation, is said to be enough reason alone to supplement with this superfood daily. But, please be aware that if you are allergic to bee stings, you are more likely to have a reaction to all of their products. Furthermore, the toxic effects may manifest immediately or over the course of a couple of weeks.
If the bees disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.
– Albert Einstein
Bee pollen has been said to normalize cholesterol, lower triglycerides and LDL, while raising HDL … basically normalizing and maintaining healthy blood lipid levels. Given to anemic clients, it is claimed to increase iron levels substantially! Famous athletes throughout history (e.g., Muhammad Ali & Steve Riddick) have used it to enhance endurance/stamina. Looking at its amazing properties, it’s not so surprising that bee pollen may be beneficial in these, among many other possible aspects of health: vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, folic acid, pantothenic acid, rutin, choline, inositol; minerals – calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, iodine, zinc, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, boron, silica, titanium. Bee pollen contains at least 22 amino acids, 18 vitamins, 25 minerals, 59 trace elements, 11 enzymes/coenzymes, 14 fatty acids including Omega 3s, 11 carbohydrates and approximately 25% protein. Even powerful antibacterial and antibiotic actions have been suggested due to its high flavonoid content.
But this is still just the tip of the iceberg. What bees gather and provide is mysterious and mesmerizing! Interestingly, bee pollen cannot be completely synthesized in a lab. There are actually elements present that are unidentified by science! This is said to be the magic of the bees, and studies have proven that bees can’t survive on synthetic (lab-made) bee pollen; they perish soon after eating it.
Possibly even more fascinating is the work of Dr. Tsitsin, who discovered a mountain village with some 200 individuals over the age of 100, still active in the community as well as physically. After some digging around, he learned their secret: beekeeping was the life source of this village, along with all that the bees offered: bee pollen, honey, and venom used as medicine, perhaps?
Like so many things in Nature, we may never know exactly how it works and how it’s created. But nonetheless, the medicinal value of bee pollen should not go unacknowledged, and it should be used responsibly and graciously by all. Be good to the honeybees, as they do so much for us!