Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Nutritional Content of Fresh, Bee-Collected and Stored Pollen Compared

Nutritional Content of Fresh, Bee-Collected and Stored Pollen of Aloe Greatheadii Var. Davyana (Asphodelaceae)
Phytochemistry, 2006 Jun 27

Aloe greatheadii var. davyana is the most important indigenous South African bee plant. Fresh, bee-collected and stored pollen of this aloe was collected and analysed for its nutritional content, including amino acid and fatty acid composition. Highly significant differences were found between the three types of pollen. Collection and storage by the bees resulted in increased water (13-21% wet weight) and carbohydrate content (35-61% dry weight), with a resultant decrease in crude protein (51-28% dry weight) and lipid content (10-8% dry weight). Essential amino acids were present in equal or higher amounts than the required minimum levels for honeybee development, with the exception of tryptophan. Fatty acids comprised a higher proportion of total lipid in fresh pollen than in bee-collected and stored pollen. This study is the first to compare the changes that occur in pollen of a single species after collection by honeybees.

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