In the recent past, bee pollen has been a common phenomenon owing to the numerous benefits reaped when you consume it. Bee pollen is enriched with various nutrients which make it possible for it to have numerous health benefits on the body and is known for its powerful immune boosting properties. Some of these include vital amino acids, essential vitamins and fatty acids, most of which you won’t find in a common diet. Bee pollen varies in various instance. There are a couple of determinant factors which make the quality, constitution, and even colour of bee pollen to vary from one hive to another. These include climate of an area, bee type, soil type and geographical setting.
The farmers who keep bees have specific techniques they use to collect bee pollen. They make use of sizeable pollen traps which they attach at the point which bees enter the hive. The traps work such that the opening rubs off on the legs of the bees as they move back into the hive. As the pollen accumulates, it lands on a different collection point, just below the hive. This makes it easy for the beekeepers to harvest the pollen once they collect it. Harvesting the pollen in the right way makes it easy for more pollen to be collected, as it stimulates the bees to move more into and out of the hive.
Pollen traps used in collection
The pollen traps are designed such that there are a number of perforations. They are designed such that they are only big enough to allow a returning bee to force their way through it. As they do this, the small opening rubs against the hind legs of the bees. Precaution is normally taken so that there are no undesired openings since the foragers will opt to use these so that they can keep as much pollen as they can to themselves. The beekeepers also make sure that they seal out all crevices and spaces to avoid such inconveniences. The size of the desired apertures is checked often since some foragers also find their own way of keeping as much pollen as possible to themselves. They carry with them little pollen so that it isn’t rubbed off their feet and into the screen which leads to the drawer.
There is a lot that goes in the collection of bee pollen. A slight mistake could render the pollen, which has taken quite long to accumulate, bad. Also, poor trapping techniques endanger the life and population of the bee colonies as well. To avoid interrupting the nutritional needs of the colonies, it is advisable for the beekeepers to give the bees time to accumulate pollen for their own needs. Also, the traps ought to be designed such that they don’t interfere with the freedom and personal space of the colonies. Some traps are used for a while after which they are removed from the hives by the beekeepers. After the colonies have collected enough pollen for their requirements, the traps are then reattached to the hives so that they can continue collecting the pollen. Others are designed such that they leave a substantial amount of pollen on the hind legs of the returning foragers to avoid chasing them away.
Precautions taken during and after collection
Fresh bee pollen is quite perishable hence it does not have long life. The intervals of collection are relatively short; the pollen ought to be collected daily if this is possible. As soon as it has been collected from the pollen traps, it should be preserved with immediate effect in order to prevent it from going bad. Pollen is highly susceptible to attack from mold especially if relative moisture is allowed to come into contact with the pollen. Keeping it fresh during collection helps it to maintain its medicinal and nutritional value.
The best bee pollen to collect is that which is without interference of agricultural chemicals e.g. fertilisers, soil conditioners and pesticides. The chemical elements interfere with the chemical properties of the pollen and they could render it toxic and unhealthy for use. Precautions are taken so that the pollen does not spoil through overheating. Processes e.g. toasting, baking or burning, which interfere with the chemical properties of the pollen ought to be avoided at all costs.