Fermentation: Bee Pollen to Bee Bread

Ever wonder if there’s a bee Picasso inside your hive, creating works of art with her palette of bee pollen?

A hive inspection often includes joy and surprise at the simple beauty of the inside of the bees’ hive.

Pollen becoming bee bread

These great colors show the diversity of pollen from local flowers organized meticulously in comb near the brood nest.

From Bee Pollen to Bee Bread

Beer may have been the dawn of civilization, but did you know modern honeybees bees have been fermenting pollen to make bee bread for over a million years?!

Like when we make yogurt, beer or bread, the bees add honey and enzymes to enable natural yeasts to ferment the pollen.

Bee Pollen to bee bread - EyesOnHives

These beneficial enzymes and bacteria create a protein rich substance from the mixture.  Bee Bread has a higher vitamin content, is less acidic, and has lower amounts of complex polysaccharides (which are hard to eat) than stored raw Pollen.  This has fascinated scientists too according to this review in the PLOS Journal.

It is routinely suggested that these changes in nutritional composition are a result of the metabolic activity of the microflora that is present in stored pollen..

Here’s a pic of some in the making.  This wonderful stuff is what bees use to feed their young, and what we humans call Bee Bread.

Bee Pollen to Bee Bread Closeup