Every warm season is the time for thousands of bees to try and provide food for their colonies. We know that bees collect nectar, but they also require pollen. Bees collect nectar to obtain a partially fermented food product that is activated through enzymes – honey. Whereas pollen is collected to produce a food product that is activated through lactic enzymes – bee bread. Yes, that’s right – people are not the only ones purposefully fermenting their food. Honey provides the main source of carbohydrates for bees, whereas bee bread is their main source of protein.
Bee pollen has great potential as a source of protein. However, it requires proper fermentation to become bee bread for bees to be able to digest it. This is partly because the core of most pollen is surrounded by a cellulose shell that neither bees nor humans can digest well. Other types of pollen have a protective wax coating that is also indigestible.
Bee bread is an alchemic bee product made of around 25% of honey or nectar, 70% of pollen, and the secretions from bee glands. Together with honey or nectar, secretions supplement pollen with various natural probiotic bacteria and yeast cultures to help initiate this important process of fermentation. It is believed that fermentation makes bee pollen easier to digest and increases its nutritional value, much like how fermenting yeast breaks down gluten. However, research has also shown that this may not be the case. Rather, this process is more like lactic food fermentation, e.g., pickles or sauerkraut, which is a method of food preservation that people have used for millennia.
Bees bring pollen to the beehive and use it to tightly pack the honeycomb cells. After the cell is filled with pollen, the remaining two-thirds are then filled with honey, and finally sealed using beeswax. This is where fermentation turns pollen into bee bread. Pollen is stored under anaerobic conditions. The anaerobic bacteria interact with various microbes, different types of yeast, and beneficial mould to begin their work. Complex chemical structures are broken down into simple bonds. For example, proteins are broken down into amino acids, which produces a lot of lactic acid and vitamin K. Fermentation also breaks down pollen cells and the compounds within become easier to assimilate. Lactic acid can also be easily converted to glucose, which is the main source of energy. When bees consume this, the various nutrients in the bee bread are transferred to the bee glands. In the glands, they are used to make other substances, including royal jelly, poison, and other complex biological compounds.
The largest amount of pollen is collected in late March and June when the plants are mostly in bloom. Three months later, in early autumn, bee bread is collected from the beehive. We call this product bee bread because of its specific fermented taste that is similar to bread yeast. Moreover, these small hexagonal granules are much like miniature loaves of bread.
Bees produce this food during summer and feed on it all winter. One part of bee resources is bee bread and the other is honey. If bees can gain such great benefits from bee bread, it can certainly be crowned a superfood. Just imagine – if bees can survive the winter frosts with these two products alone, they must be truly special.
Bee bread is the main source of bee protein and works as a natural dietary supplement for people, providing energy and improved health.
It boasts antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Bee bread is recommended for people suffering from liver and digestive system diseases. Bee bread eliminates physical and mental fatigue, improves mood, and restores the vitamin balance. It is excellent for rebuilding strength after being ill. It also boosts the immune system, helps against atherosclerosis and anaemia, and can aid in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders. Bee bread also helps with diabetes, lowers cholesterol, and detoxifies the body. It is recommended for cases of atherosclerosis and anaemia. It is very effective in treating urinary and prostate disorders. Bee bread improves appetite and skin health and has a rejuvenating effect on the body.
Bee bread contains around 20% protein, 24% to 34% carbohydrates, and 1.5% lipids. Bee bread typically contains a variety of minerals, including Mg, Fe, Cu, Zn, Co, Mo, Se, Cr, Ni, and Si. It is one of the richest natural foods that also contains selenium. Bee bread is also an excellent source of micronutrients, including P, S, CI, K, Ca, Na, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, PP, E, D, K, H. Amino acids make up around 15% of the dry material in the bee bread and are easily assimilated by the human body in the required ratio. Lactic acid comprises 3.1%, minerals – 2.43%, protein – 22%, sugars – 35%, fat – 1.6%. It is a natural dietary supplement with biostimulator effects that is rich in phytohormones, flavonoids, free amino acids, mineral elements, and other active biological compounds whose bioavailability is at least three times higher compared to pollen. This vital compound complex determines bee bread’s role as a biostimulator.
The body can assimilate the active ingredients of bee bread more readily compared to pollen due to them being broken down into less complex compounds during fermentation. Conversely, an unbroken pollen wall will make it difficult to assimilate it. It is a preserved product, resulting in very few changes over time, which means that it can be used for a long time.
The nutritional value of bee bread is much higher than that of pollen due to the fermentation process. Recent studies have demonstrated that bee bread is better assimilated by the human body. Moreover, in making bee bread, bees supplement pollen with new bioactive substances.
The vitamin levels in bee bread are similar to those in pollen, albeit bee bread contains less vitamin E, but more vitamin K. Bee bread has 5 to 6 times more lactic acid than dry pollen. Lactic acid is what gives bee bread a sour taste and protects it from mould, microorganisms, and putrefying bacteria. That is also the reason why bee bread can be stored longer than pollen.
Bee bread is a relatively new product that is both little-known and little-used worldwide. In fact, Lithuanians take the title of the creator and inventor of this product and its technology, being the pioneers and the first to have extracted bee bread from the beehive. Beekeepers from other countries learn from our technology and experience. However, due to our substantial experience and the level of technique, we can produce cleaner, purer, and better bee bread than our competitors in other countries. We are the competition in supplying the market with bee bread of exceptional quality. Bee bread is used in the food industry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and veterinary medicine.
Bee bread can be stored for up to 2 years without losing much nutritional value, albeit it is best used within one year. Due to the biochemical and physiological processes in bee bread, it will lose around 40% of amino acids and other valuable and active components over 3 to 4 years. We supply dried and frozen bee bread in the form of granules (4-5 mm), small fraction granules (1-3 mm), and dry powder (10 μ).
Bee bread is not a medicine. It is a natural dietary supplement, a nutrient produced by bees and extracted in its purest form. However, it does show preventive and healing properties to alleviate many health disorders.
Advantages of the key quality parameters of bee bread
|No||Name of parameter||Unit of measurement||Most common in the market||Requirement of our company‘s standart|
|1.||Protein||%||< 20||Min 23|
|6.||pH||Unit||3,5 ÷ 4,5|
|7.||Moisture||%||13 ÷ 11|
|8.||Wax||%||2 ÷ 5||Max 0,5|
|10.||Oxidability, no more||s||Max 20|
|11.||Heavy Metals (Ph. Eur. 2.4.27)|
|Lead (Pb)||mg/kg||Max 0,05|
|Cadmium (Cd)||mg/kg||Max 0,08|
|Mercury (Hg)||mg/kg||Not detected|
|12.||Pyrrolizidinalcaloides (PA)||µg/kg||> 120||Max 50|
|13.||PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)||µg/kg||> 100||Max 26|
- Pollen contained in our bee bread is collected from over 50 different flowers that are mostly found in wild nature.
- Our bee bread is matured in the beehive for the full fermentation period of 3 months.
- It has a moderately sweet, tart, and at times slightly bitter taste.
- It is well-dried with moisture levels of 13.5% to 11%. It is meticulously cleaned and free of fine fraction and powder.
- It benefits from an excellent marketable appearance. The granules are uniform. The beeswax fraction is completely removed.
- It does not contain any chemical contamination or residues of pesticides, aflatoxins, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, heavy metals, or antibiotics. Pesticide residue levels are in compliance with the Ph. Eur/EC regulation No. 396/2005. Generally, they are undetectable, except for one-off pesticides, which are detectable at the lowest laboratory levels, but their residue levels never exceed the maximum levels.
- Good microbiological status, compliant with Ph. Eur. 5.1.8.- C.
- GMO-free. Lithuania and the Baltic states have banned GMOs.
Our bee bread is produced in accordance with all technological and technical requirements. It meets the highest quality standard. The raw material is selected very carefully. We use fresh, dry, well-fermented and full beehives to extract our bee bread. The best before date of the product under the specified storage conditions is 2 years from the date of manufacture.
Bee bread is very rich in terms of its chemical and physical composition. It contains all the main active ingredients, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, micronutrients, minerals, amino acids, flavonoids and other biologically active compounds present in the product.
Furthermore, the level of chemical contamination in bee bread is extremely low or non-existent. It meets the highest product safety standards that are enforced in many countries.
The main applications include the production of dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, and veterinary products with bee bread as the main active ingredient. It is perfect for direct consumption in the form of granules or by drinking together with liquids, or mixed in with honey, yogurt and other foods.
Why is bee bread so beneficial?
This product is the key source of protein for bees and a natural dietary supplement for people.
Bee bread eliminates physical and mental fatigue, improves mood, and restores the vitamin balance. It is excellent for rebuilding strength after being ill. It boosts the immune system, helps against atherosclerosis, and can support the treatment of cardiovascular disorders. It helps with diabetes and lowers blood cholesterol.
Bee bread improves appetite and digestive function, helps with liver and gallbladder disorders, tones, stimulates the production of haemoglobin and erythrocytes, and increases their levels in the blood; it helps improve the psychological condition and mental health.
Bee bread helps treat prostatitis, atherosclerosis, and anaemia; it helps alleviate digestive issues and detoxify the body.
Many athletes eat bee bread because they believe it boosts their immune system, increases oxygen uptake, improves performance and supports faster recovery after a workout.