Pollen is extremely resistant: it must protect and transport the necessary elements for the continuation of life! It is the protein source for adult bees and is essential for the development of larvae. On average, beehives store 10 to 26 kg of pollen per year, deposited in the cells around the brood.
For the collection of pollen, the beekeeper uses traps that he places at the entrance of the hive: the bee that falls in charge of pollen, passes through a grid with holes of calculated size that allow the passage of the insect but not the pollen that overflows from its body.
The composition of pollen varies depending on the type of plant, the botanical species, the type of collection (single-flower or multi-flower), how it is stored and the climate. The main components of the pollen are:
- water: the content is generally lower than 20%; in order to avoid the proliferation of mold and bacteria, pollen is dehydrated
- nitrogenous substances: proteins, enzymes, coenzymes, amino acids. Almost all pollens contain all the essential amino acids for humans
- lipids: fats, fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, pigments, sterols and saturated hydrocarbons
- carbohydrates: simple sugars that come from the mixture that the bees make with the nectar or the honey to obtain the pollen load