Bee pollen refers to the pollen grains that collect on the legs of worker bees as they partake of the nectar produced by flowering plants. The pollen, which is normally mixed with saliva and reserved nectar for the purpose of feeding male drones, is transported back to the hive via specialized pockets on the rear legs of the bees.
Making bee pollen, or bee bread as it’s sometimes called, is a laborious task for the honeybee. In fact, it takes one worker bee about 240 hours to collect enough pollen grains to make a single teaspoon of bee pollen granules. Of course, the raw material is collected a little at a time with each return to the hive.
Commercial beekeepers can successfully capture the pollen by placing a mesh screen over the entrance to the hive so that as the bee enters, it brushes against the screen that causes the specialized baskets that flank him on each side to empty their contents onto the tray waiting below. The accumulated pollen is then collected from trays that lie beneath the hive's entrance and compressed into tablets or encapsulated.
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