Frequently Asked Questions About Bee Pollen and Products of the Hive

I get asked a lot of questions about all the products I talk about and sell here on Bee Pollen Buzz. So, here are some of the more frequent questions and my answers for you. Hope these help!

Q1 - What is the difference in using granules or the capsules with regards to the nutrients and properties of the pollen?

A - There actually isn't a difference in the nutrients you'll obtain between granules or capsules. To make a bee pollen capsule, a manufacturer actually starts with regular bee pollen granules and lightly processes them to take the outer shell of the granule away. He then just puts the fine powder into a capsule. Some would argue that you absorb the nutrients from a capsule better because your body doesn't have to break down the outer shell of the granule. Hence, you'd be able to absorb more of the nutrients.

Q2 - Does bee pollen cause acne?

A - It is unlikely but certainly possible. The thing you have to remember is that everyone responds to nutrients very differently and this may be your initial response. I would say however that I have never seen or heard of anyone taking pollen and having this happen.

My advice to you would be to stop taking it for a week or until the pimple goes away. Once your skin is perfectly clear again, resume taking the bee pollen. If it reoccurs, then you've got your answer!

One word of caution. In my 12 years of holistic health, we often see people who begin taking new super foods or supplements go through an initial cleansing process. Your skin is one of the bodies most effective detoxifiers. In many cases, I've seen people begin taking something, develop a reaction of some sort (acne, rash, tiredness, etc) but continue taking what they were taking and have it clear up as the body cleanses. This may be something worth considering AS LONG as you don't develop any further more serious symptoms. In that case, stop taking it immediately.

You may also want to back your dose down and build up very slowly. Less of a shock to your system.

Q3 - What is the difference between the Concentrated Royal Jelly (3 X) you sell and the normal royal jelly?

A - The difference between the concentrated royal jelly and normal is that the normal is raw and intact as is and the concentrate is dried. The concentrated has been lypholized to remove any moisture. The concentrate is more potent than the raw (normal). 1/2 tsp of raw equals 1/4 tsp concentrate. You don't need as much concentrate for the same results.

Q4 - Are Bee Pollen and Royal Jelly good for uplifting mood?

A - Yes, Bee Pollen and Royal Jelly are useful for uplifting mood. Because they are high in the natural b-complex vitamins among other things. They work to boost and support metabolic function. Royal jelly stimulates the adrenal glands and metabolism. They both work to normalize the body so natural energy can occur. Everyone has differing sensitivities, however I have not heard of someone getting anxiety from it. The Amino Acids and B Vitamins are in small amounts and naturally occur in the food state. It is when you take amino acids and b-vitamins separately, that it can sometimes cause anxiety in some individuals. The energy from Royal Jelly is usually felt after a month of taking it.

Q5 - In using the Bee Venom Ointment, will there be redness and how bad will it be? Can you see the inflammation right away?

A - Honey bee venom contains at least 18 active substances. Melittin, the most prevalent substance, is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents known. This is what triggers the reaction in people. But it is not "bad".

Side effects of bee venom therapy are generally limited, since the inflammation, swelling, itching, etc. are desired effects. However, the risk of an anaphylactic allergic reaction to bee venom is real, and it is always wise to have a bee sting allergy kit on hand. Fortunately, most "bee" sting allergic reactions are actually to yellow jackets or wasps. Honey bee venom does not necessarily cross-react, and some studies show honey bee stings to account for less than 5% of all adverse stinging insect reactions. In addition, many people who have been severe local reactions to bee stings, which an apitherapist would consider a positive effect, are incorrectly considered to have allergy to bees.

When you put the venom cream on the effected area it will immediately cause blood flow to the area and opens the blood vessels increasing circulation to that area. This will cause a redness and heat.

Some people may go through a "Healing Crisis" where the body works to heal itself sometimes headaches, nausea and vomitting can occur.

If you are allergic to bee venom try a test spot first to see the reaction.

To use the cream use 1 dot of cream on each of the effected areas and leave on for 3-4 minutes. After that massage for 10 minutes. This will heat the area and draw even more heat to the initial trigger point.

Q6 - What type of reaction should I expect when using the bee venom ointment?

A - Bee Venom Ointment has less of a reaction than getting stung by a bee.

Redness is a desired effect of the cream as it is a sign that the pathways are open and an increased circulation in the problem area is occurring.

We recommend that you leave the dot of ointment in the problem area(s) for 3-4 minutes and then massage the effected areas with Beeswax Skin Cream for 10 minutes afterwards.

The redness should stay anywhere from 15 minutes to 2-3 hours. Possibly do the first treatment at night to see your individual reaction. We also suggest that you do a test on your wrist to make sure you are not severely allergic. Especially if this is your first time being in contact with venom.

Q7 - I'd like to use a local honey or bee pollen for my allergies. I'm not from Ontario - will it still work for me?

A - Our Raw Honey is produced by Dutchman's Gold Honey Company by their own bees in southern Ontario. So for those of you from Ontario and New York, our honey would be considered 'local.'

With regards to the bee pollen, that is a tougher issue. It is correct in that for allergies, its best to use as local a pollen as possible. Now, the problem is that its very tough to find high quality bee pollen produced in and around southern Ontario. In fact, we don't think it exists as we've looked and looked for a good supplier who could produce the amounts we'd need in a year and can't find anyone. As a result, we buy most of our pollen from northern B.C..

Your next best option for treating allergies would be to use a pollen produced in North America. We really recommend avoiding pollens produced off shore (China or New Zealand) as they'll have a totally different pollen structure than a North American pollen. It has been our experience that using a good quality North American pollen works quite well for allergies. We get a lot of good feedback in the retail store on this.

Some pollen experts actually recommend blending pollens (like we do) from different sources as it gives the end user a greater blend of nutrients and actually exposes you to more different pollens than a totally local pollen.

I would recommend you start taking pollen ASAP as like I've said in some of my articles, it seems that the sooner you start taking it, the better your immune system can adjust.

Q8 - Is all raw honey creamed? I bought 'raw honey' and it is a liquid and not creamed/solid at room temperature.

A - Raw honey does come out liquid upon harvest, but later in the season it turns creamy. Sometimes in the heat, raw honey can turn into liquid. It is hard to say without knowing the farmers.

Sometimes there is honey that claims it is local, but is mixed part raw and part pasteurized to keep it liquid, also there could be part local and part Asian honey.

I would contact the farmers yourself to find out what the consistency is yourself.

Q9 - Is bee pollen safe to use with dogs and if so, what dose do you give them?

A - Yes, bee pollen is safe to use with dogs. We recommend you use the same procedure as you would with people. Start with 1 granual per day and increase gradually by one or two granules until you've increased to a 1/2 - 1 tablespoon daily. Mix the pollen in your dogs food once you've determined that he/she handles the pollen well. You can also mix it in their water.

Q10 - You talk about local bee pollen a lot. Is there local bee pollen in Southern Ontario available? If so, how come you don't sell it?

A - We do have good quality bee pollen being produced in and around southern Ontario, but is difficult to maintain it's vitality given our often very humid climate, and thus is produced in lesser quantities and hard to have sufficient supply to maintain throughout the year as this Bee Pollen is only collected seasonally. (one time per year)

Our Bee Pollen is Air Dried. Bee Pollen is collected at various stages through out the summer Production season, then Harvested, in late summer to early fall.

Q11 - Does putting raw honey in boiling or hot water hurt the beneficial properties of the honey?

A - When you put honey into hot water that has just been boiled, you will not reduce the healing benefits of it, if you wait until it cools slightly. Having honey in tea or something like that is a great way to help bring the healing properties of the herb into your body. Because it is not direct high heat, the properties will remain.

The temperature that honey would lose it's beneficial properties is: 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Food that has not been cooked or heated above 118 degree F is considered raw. All the enzymes will be present. Since boiling point is 212 degrees F, you will have to wait a short time for it to cool to get maximum results.

However, it will not be harmful to have honey after it has been heated or used in a baking recipe. The benefits will outweigh not using it. Pasteurization occurs after 140 or 150 degrees F.

Q12 - Can I take bee pollen while pregnant or breast feeding?

A - Keep in mind that bee pollen is first and foremost a food so it is very safe to take for virtually all people. It has a safety record of hundreds and hundreds of years so it is very well tolerated by the majority of the population. While there are no studies on bee pollen consumption by breast feeding women, we have seen many, many women continue to consume it while breast feeding with no problems.

As always, start slowly with a few granules per day to re-establish tolerance. And be VERY observant of any allergic reactions in your baby until you are sure he/she tolerates it well.

Q13 - I was told that taking bee pollen is similar to getting stung by a bee and that taking bee pollen can make you allergic to bees even if you weren't allergic to them in the past?

A - Now, I'm not an MD and can't offer medical advice to my visitors but I can speak from years of experience using bee pollen with thousands of people. And the truth is, I have never, ever seen or heard of this happening to anyone taking pollen, ever. In my opinion, there is no way for this to occur. Pollen is simply made up of millions of little pollen particles, protein, vitamins and minerals, enzymes and other plant nutrients as well as some royal jelly and propolis. So how the doctor claims for this to happen I'm not sure. Like I said, there is no venom in pollen - it is simply the food that bees eat.

In my opinion, bee pollen may actually lessen one's response to a bee sting as pollen seems to have immune modulating properties. (these are backed by scientific studies). If someone is allergic to bee stings, it simply means that their immune system 'over reacts' to the venom. It has been my experience that bee pollen actually helps the immune system calm down. We see this with the countless allergy sufferers who get relief from bee pollen each year.

I'd also mention this. Even if eating pollen daily was 'just like getting stung daily,' you'd expect to see all beekeepers experiencing bad allergic reactions to getting stung because they get stung virtually daily. But this is not the case.

Take for example my father the bee keeper. He has been stung thousands of times over his lifetime as have his many peers. After being stung this many times, he suffers virtually no reaction when he does get stung. It hurts a bit but his immune system is so desensitized to the venom that he doesn't react at all.

Q14 - I've noticed that your Beeswax Skin cream has borax in it. I understand it may be a preservative? Is it safe to use?

A - The main ingredient in the Beeswax Skin Cream is beeswax and the % of Borax is low. That being said, Borax is used as a natural agent that is completely clean to help emulsify the beeswax, otherwise it would go hard. When combined with beeswax borax does not irritate the skin. However, if you used borax alone on the skin it may cause irritation.

I successfully used both of the creams with clients for their babies bottoms, elderly, children, teenagers and adults.

The beeswax skin cream is great in the winter on rough, chapped skin. I was just reminded the other day of the importance of the beeswax skin cream because as the weather gets colder my skin gets chapped and sometimes itchy - and the cream works wonders for that.

Q - I was wondering if you could provide the nutritional value for a 1 TB serving of your bee pollen granules. Specifically, how many calories, sugar, and protein per tablespoon.

A - 1 tbsp of bee pollen has about 51 calories. I weighed a tablespoon of our pollen and it was 12 grams. Since pollen is roughly 25% protein (some batches are higher), we know that there are about 3 grams of protein per tablespoon. The remainder of bee pollen is 6% fat (0.72 grams) and then 8 grams of carbohydrates. There isn't any added sugar in pollen but there may be some naturally occurring.

Q - Is it vital to only purchase pollen that is refrigerated right from the start until I consume it here at home as I have read on many websites?

A - Yes, it is important that the bee pollen you purchase be temperature controlled at all times. What I mean by this is that it should have been cooled immediately upon collection and then cooled until it is shipped. Once you have it in your hands, you should either refrigerate it or freeze it for long term storage. But having it at room temperature for periods of time won't harm it - it just won't maintain its vitality quite as long. Don't worry though - it won't go bad if kept unrefrigerated for a few weeks. Just try to keep it in a cool, dry place.

Q - When cooking with honey instead of sugar what is your recommended conversion ratio?

A - we follow a 2:1 conversion ration for sugar to honey. So 1 tablespoon of sugar would be 1/2 a tablespoon of honey.

Q - How long can you store raw honey before you have to use it?

A - indefinitely. Raw honey naturally preserves itself.

Q - What is the best way to store raw honey?

A - Room temperature, no moisture.

Q - How long can you store Royal Jelly and what is the best way to store it?

A - Best way to store royal jelly is in the freezer. If stored in the freezer, you can store it indefinitely. It will keep for several years. Even capsules or powder can be kept in the freezer.

Q - What is the best away to fit Royal Jelly into ones diet? I already know what to do with bee pollen I love it on my toast but Royal Jelly is new to my wife and I.

A - since royal jelly has a strong taste, we recommend that you mix it into a fruit/protein smoothie each day or mix it into some liquid honey or jam. Or use the capsules which obviously have no taste!

Q - I am interested in taking bee pollen but I read on a web site that if you are allergic to bee stings then you should not take bee pollen.

A - Great question. Actually, this is not always true. In fact, it is more often than not false. What I suggest people who are allergic to bee stings do is start with my Bee Pollen Tolerance Test:

If you're new to taking this superfood, I suggest you follow these guidelines to determine your sensitivity to it. Although bee pollen is not a drug, it is possible you could be sensitive to it so it's best that you're cautious the first time you take it.

1) Place one raw bee pollen kernel under your tongue.

2) Let it dissolve completely. It is absorbing rapidly through what is called your mucous membrane directly into your blood stream.

3) If you experience no reaction, place two granules under your tongue.

4) Continue increasing the number of granules under your tongue until you feel confident that you will not experience an allergic reaction.

Q - Do you use chemicals in your hives?

A - Some beekeepers do spray their hives with chemicals regularly. The reason they do this is because of disease and parasites and lack of knowledge. We however, use an integrated pest management program that monitors the hives for disease and parasites so we rarely, if ever use chemicals at all. We would only use a chemical if and when there is a risk that a parasite or disease is in the hive and there is a risk that it may destroy our hives. We would also only use this if we are 100% sure there will be no contamination to the honey and we then test the honey for any residues up to parts per billion. So, as you can see we take great pride in producing 100% natural honey products and avoid chemicals at almost all costs.

Tips on how to safely buy bee pollen

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