Monday, October 15, 2007

Beebread in Apitherapy

By Priscilla Coe, Journal of the American Apitherapy Society, Volume 14, Number 3, September 2007

Beebread is an extremely nourishing tonic made of pollen and honey that roughly simulates the beebread made by honeybees in the hive. Its high lactic acid content supports healthy digestion, which is a foundation of good health. The lactic acid also can be converted to glucose in the body, glucose being the main source of energy used throughout the body.

The production of beebread in the hive is not fully understood. Approximately one-quarter of the mature bees in a hive collect only pollen, one-quarter forage only for nectar, and roughly half forage for both pollen and nectar. Therefore, it is estimated that half of the pollen brought back to the hive has been mixed with nectar. The remainder of the pollen brought back to the hive has been mixed with some of the honey that the bees took with them as an energy source on their flights to obtain the pollen. The bees tightly pack these pellets—each containing millions of pollen grains—along with saliva, into the worker cells until they are three-fourths full. Having previously cleaned and lined these cells with a thin layer of propolis, the bees then seal the beebread “silo” with a thin layer of propolis to prevent the development of bacteria and fungi.

To make beebread for apitherapy purposes, the typical ratio is one to one, honey to pollen, though some people prefer additional honey for a more liquid consistency. This is mixed in a sterile glass container and then left for a few weeks to ferment. It is ideal to use fresh, not dried, pollen: as pollen dries, its vitality and nutrients are adversely affected. Fresh pollen has a moisture content of 10­-20%, while dried pollen’s is 4-­6%.

Dr. Stashenko notes that when the pollen is moistened with honey, the pollen’s lactic bacteria, with the aid of the pollen’s high protein content, quickly produce large amounts of lactic acid. The pH level of fresh pollen is approximately 7.2; in one-week-old beebread it drops to 3.5-4.2. He further notes that preparing beebread is more efficient without oxygen, and therefore recommends that the jar be covered tightly and that the contents not be stirred after the initial blending. After the several-week fermentation period, beebread should be stored in the refrigerator. Theoretically, it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for as long as five years, though over time the amount of protein, sugar, and other acids will decline. Therefore, it is best to make beebread in small quantities and consume it within a few months.

Source: Vetaley Stashenko, PhD, ND, naturopathic doctor, apiculturist and apitherapist


Urana said...

thank you!

Urana said...

this is great. thanks! I have a source for fresh bee pollen. I'm going to try making the bee bread.

LaurieD said...

Thank you for this information

LaurieD said...

Thank you so much for this information