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6.17.2011

Bee Products; Honey, Propolis, Beeswax, and Bee Pollen

While there is no greater feeling than sharing
Fresh Honey with a friend,
there are also other things that the bees produce;
Propolis, Beeswax and Bee Pollen or Bee "Bread"
Bee Pollen or Bee "Bread"( top) 
Beeswax (top left)
Propolis ( bottom left) and Honey ( right)
 all gathered from Anya's Hive

Freshly gathered Bee 'Bread" or Bee Pollen from Anya's Hive
Notice the the different layers and colors of pollen?

 Pollen grains have a minute negative charge and "Forager" bees have a minute positive charge which helps them to collect all those pollen granules on their  thousands of hairs and carry them back to the hive in their  corbiculae or Pollen baskets,  just outside their hind legs.

Pollen is the source of protein, starch, fat, vitamins and minerals for the Queen's entire Colony.  Pollen has more protein than beef in weight and this makes it the perfect food to help feed the young bees to maturity. Forager Bees pack the pollen tightly in cells  and coat it with honey to store it for future use.

Outside of the hive, surfers,  runners, long distance skiers, and many other athletes and health enthusiasts have long  supplemented their diets with bee pollen as it it loaded with energy and high nutritional value.
 It has a sweet and bitter flavor that reflects the flowers that the bees have been foraging.
 Some beekeepers harvest pollen using pollen traps.
Notice the different colors of  the
Beeswax on the left and Propolis on the right.

 Beeswax is created by the worker bees to create their combs to store their honey, which is their carbohydrate.  It is used  outside of the hive to produce candles, cosmetics and even encaustic paints.

Propolis is an enigmatic mixture made by the bees from collected saps and resins from the buds and wounds on trees and plants. The bees mix these saps with enzymes and they use it to seal cracks in the hive, mix into the comb, for strength, and close or reduce entrances to the hive. It is believed to have antibiotic properties and is used outside the hive as an ingredient in toothpastes, sore throat and scratch remedies and can be  harvested by beekeepers with a propolis trap.

Bees really are amazing!