Not sure if I'm in the right forum for this but here goes...Does anyone know exactly what these items are made of? Someone was asking me so I thought I'd ask. I thought they were made of bee sperm and bee poop. Ew. Just a guess!
"Bee pollen" is collected by placing bee-sized mesh or grate between the beehive and bees returning to it, forcing them to go thru it in order to get back to the hive. Since it is just about the size of a bee, and pollen sticking to the bee along its sides (where it generally is) gets smushed off as the bee squeezes its way thru the grate. It falls into a box from which bee-husbanding humans collect it. Sometimes bees injure themselves trying to squeeze thru.
If you have a garden or area with bee pollinated flowers and can observe bees closely, you can easily see the little bumps of pollen adhered to their sides. The pollen is stuck together and to the bee with a sticky secretion produced by the bee. It is not "just" pollen.
I feel that pollen, collected directly from known plants, is probably a good food. It is high in protein, like many seeds are. It is, of course, literally the sperm cells of plants.
Some north American pre-Colombian tribes have had a tradition of collecting and using corn pollen, from the corn plants they husbanded. It must be tricky to harvest pollen. Each corn plant ejaculates its pollen over the course of a few days, with most of it being ejaculated over a few hours; which hours depend upon the wind conditions and other air conditions as well as upon the readyness of the plant. The plants kind of "let go" of the pollen, when they are ready, and then the wind carries it away. I have watched my corn plants do this. It is fun to watch. I would also often see a cloud of pollen detach and float away, when i just gently bumped into a plant.
I have no idea how people collected it. Unlike Europeans, who have traditionally collected pollen by waiting for bees to do the collection work, and then stealing the pollen from the bees, the pre-Columbian N. americans collected specifically corn pollen, directly.
Bees collect a wide range of pollen, from whatever bee-pollinated plants are in their environment, and we generearlly don't know what the makeup of beepollen is. It could be a mix of safe-to-eat and toxic kinds of pollen. It is also generally thought to be collected under rather unsanitary conditions and there is little regulation of its cleanliness. It just falls into a box after the bees squeeze thru the grate. Generally little is done to keep other (smaller) insects out of the box, and to keep windborne contaminants out. You can't really "wash" bee pollen to clean it, or do much at all to clean it, like you can do with grains.
Pollen is a good source of protein, depending upon the type of pollen. Bee pollen is a very interesting and unusual food. But since usually very little effort is made to control what kind of pollen the bees collect -- they collect pollen from whatever insect-pollinated plants happen to be in the area -- I think there is some risk of allergenic pollen being in the mix.
Interestingly, preColombian Americans not only ate pollen, but the segregated pollen into different colors and made large pollen-art-magic things, pollen paintings made with loose pollen -- often with a tremendous amount of detail even though they knew it would blow away with the first wind! Actually, they made the creation with a lot of detail on purpose even tho they knew it would be ephemeral, because they knew it would be ephemeral. Even tho just collecting enough pollen to make the artwork, was itself a tremendously time-consuming job. The fact that it would not last long, and that pollen took so long to collect, and was so troublesome to collect, is the very reason, supposedly, they made it with so much detail before allowing it to blow away. Sounds peculiar in terms of European ideas about the value of labor and the products of labor. But i think it was meant to emphasize and dramatize the ephemeral nature of being. It sounds like a lot of fun, too.
"I found this site where they apparently aquire the pollen from flowers as opposed to bee pollen"
Well -- I couldn't find anything at all on the site that says how the pollen was collected. While it seems to imply that it was not collected by bees, it does not clearly denote this.
For example they say "The majority of clinical studies on "bee pollen" originating in Europe were actually performed with Cernitin Swedish Flower Pollen Extract." This sort of implies that Cernitin Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, one of their products, is not made from bee-collected pollen. But it doesn't say that unequivically. Further, it clearly states that this particular product is not whole pollen, but is some kind of "pollen extract."
In addition to "pollen extract" all their other products seem to be combinations of things that have their "pollen extract" as one of the ingredients -- conceivably in tiny proportions.
This site is overall rather misleading, like many commercial sites are.
All you can hope for when listening to commercial solicitations is that their denotive content is factual. Surmising that any connotive content is true is generally a poor idea. The purpose of advertising, according to one advertising executive I am acquainted with, is to connote as much as you can about how much the product can do for the buyer, leaving them with the impression that the product can do anything they want it to do, in regard to whatever need or desire they have, but without saying this in a sufficiently denotive way that you can legally be held accountable for the truth of it.
"Throughout the ages honey has always been accepted as one of the finest foods available to man."
The advertiser said that because they would be denoting a non-truth and could be responsible for false advertising, if they had said "throughout the ages honey has been one of the finest foods available to man." That would be a false claim about their product. But the claim that people have "accepted" honey as one of the finest foods available to man, is not a claim about their product; rather, it is a claim about people's beliefs -- in this case, about their erroneous beliefs. That they can denote -- whilst connoting that honey is one of the finest foods available to man.
Most people would pick up the connotation of honey being a "finest food available to man" and think that they were being told that honey is one of the finest foods available to man, but the advertiser could reply that "we are not saying that honey is one of the finest foods available to man, and if you got that impression, you got a false impression. We were merely remarking about how people felt about honey, not about how honey is." And one couldn't prove, to the satisfaction of lawyers and judges and juries, that they were doing otherwise.
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