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Please boycott bee pollen!

Oh… I’m sorry to be the one to start this topic, being such a bee product fan, but—I kept bees for a few years, and in my research I discovered some information that didn’t sit so well with the caring part of myself.

Bees collect pollen in sacs that are attached to their legs. To harvest the pollen, commercial beekeepers use a thick “comb” in the bottom of the hive, in the slit the bees use as a entrance/exit. The bees then have to drag themselves across the “comb” to enter or exit the hive. The bristles catch and often tear off their limbs and other parts, and, consequently, pull most of the pollen they’ve collected off their legs in the process. The beekeepers then collect the pollen and and get rid of most of the “debris” (aka. bee body parts).

Pollen is like bee bread (any of you who have tasted it can testify!)—they need it to survive as a healthy colony. Taking the pollen from them (in the usual way) makes them have to forage more often, which is wearing on their bodies and health. Here’s a quote from Wikipedia about bees:

“As a rule of thumb the foraging area around a beehive extends for two miles (3 km), although bees have been observed foraging twice and three times this distance from the hive. Foraging at extreme distances wears out the wings of individual bees, reduces the life expectancy of foraging bees and therefore the efficiency of the colony.”

Royal jelly is also harvested at the expense of the health of the colony, although I haven’t done enough research to give the specific facts. Basically, commercial, industrial beekeeping and pollen/royal jelly-harvesting practices are cruel on the small scale and dangerous on a large scale. They’re degrading the health and balance of honey bees and should be boycotted. Bees are so important to the health and survival of our natural world… It’s in our best interest to keep them healthy. Please help this situation by not buying bee pollen (or royal jelly) from large industrial companies and by educating those around you to do likewise! Thanks…

Comments

  • kandacekandace Raw Newbie

    Wow, thanks for posting this information! I had no idea how bee pollen was collected. I’ve never tried it, won’t be trying it now.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    I guess you could keep your own bees – my friend who is a beekeeper doesn’t have a comb to “harvest” the bee pollen, but a little of it gets left around on the wood frames in the hive. He also can get royal jelly, but he says it is very time/labor-intensive & that’s why he doesn’t do it. He is a very educated and caring beekeeper. Interesting! I’ve heard that bees go up to 10 miles from their hive to forage.

    I wonder about info. on Wikipedia, only because of how Wikipedia works – I could go and edit that information later today and say whatever I want to make up about bees, and no one would know that I’m just making it up. So, it could be true, but I have no way to know.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I get my bee products from an acquaintance – I know that the bees are treated like household pets. He’s very kind to them! I buy my bee pollen and honey with pride, and will continue to do so. Like Angie, I will check my facts.

  • sunshinerosesunshinerose Raw Newbie

    I’m glad to hear about acquaintance—I’ll check them out (that’s why I love these forums!). I was talking about the most-available pollen and royal jelly that some folks swear by. Keep checking your (and my) facts!

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    Yes, thanks for sharing this information. I have never purchased or tried Bee Pollen, but after reading your entry I don’t believe I will ever do so (unless I can get it from someone conscientious like Winona’s friend). I feel grateful to just be able to have a little honey now & then. The dwindling bee population is something that we should all be concerned about/aware of.

    Many people do not realize how dependent we are on insects and, sadly, they are not typically the most respected creatures. But anyone who ever got a good look at a Tiger Beetle or a Lunar Moth might be in awe of how amazing they really are.

    A friend of mine is an Entomologist by hobby (Medical Technologist as a profession) and he has really enlightened me about the amazing world of insects… and he introduced me to this interesting blog called “Bug Girl’s Blog”…. .

    http://membracid.wordpress.com/

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    I never even had been pollen but I will discourage others if I am asked about it. My cat killed a bee once. Bad boy!

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    I hope that doesn’t apply to raw honey too! I always like to believe that my honey is freely given and that the bees are happy for me to eat what they made. Am I being naive?

  • if you want bee pollen but from a site that says it is gathered ethically…

    Living Tree has some and I think its quite yummy:

    http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/produ…

  • KristensRawKristensRaw Raw Newbie

    Yes, Izhpt, sorry to say, but that is naive.

    Dr. Michael Klapper, M.D., (a vegan doctor and best selling author) advises against using honey for health reasons, because it spikes natural sugar levels of the body. Moreover, there have been documented cases of botulism from people eating honey. Of course, eating honey in its raw form increases the opportunity for botulism. Honey is, basically, regurgitated bee vomit.

    Bees make enough honey for the colony and enough pollen for the new queen. They don’t go to all the trouble to give it to you.

    When someone disturbs a colony to take honey or pollen it places a great amount of stress on the bees. This disorients them for a period and, in that sense, their whole order has been tampered with.

    I wouldn’t dream of stealing from bees. There is no need in my opinion when you can use delicious and nutritious alternative such as fresh organic dates to sweeten recipes. You can even make a date paste if you need something of a liquid nature. Simply blend some pitted dates with a little water.

    Kristen Suzanne

     

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    Dates are high-glycemic, too. I have had type 1 diabetes for seven years, and have been eating high raw for the last three. The first summer of this new way of eating, I ate a lot of raw honey. I once ate a half-gallon of creamy honey in three days – scooped it out with a spoon (I think I needed magnesium – raw cacao wasn’t on the market yet). Anyway, my blood sugars were good & normal with only one third the previous amount of insulin by eating so much raw food, even when I ate all that honey. Everyone is different, and I don’t feel good with that much honey now, but that may change again; who knows.

    Bees DO need to keep some honey to eat during the winter, so it’s important to buy the honey from someone who leaves the bees enough to eat, instead of taking all the honey & feeding the bees on sugar water or corn syrup for the winter, but if you ever see a hive from which honey has not been collected, there is usually LOTS of old honey getting dark (going bad) because the bees don’t eat everything they make.

    fgc70
  • sunshinerosesunshinerose Raw Newbie

    I think that honey and propolis and all the things that bees create are amazing and magical and can be used medicinally to good affect. There used to be more of a balance between honey bees and humans… we had to work a little harder to collect their bounty. With the industrialization and standardizing of their dwellings and environments (Bees naturally make rounded cone-shaped hives, hanging from strong branches or in the hollows of trees…) and by systematically introdcing hybridized, non-native, weak bees into environments all over the world, we’ve weakened them to an extreme extent. They aren’t strong enough to supply us with the same amount of medicine (honey, propolis, pollen)....

    There are some beekeepers that have a really good relationship with their bee friends and are careful about how much and what they take from them. But bee “keeping” is unnatural and 98% of the time, not ideal for the bees. It’s a complicated issue.

    Send the bees your love, set out a dish of water when it’s hot and dry out (that’s what they travel the farthest for), plant flowers, let your garden go to seed (or at least through flowering), limit the amount of bee products you consume, and consume with consciousness and gratitude…

    fgc70
  • matthewrmatthewr Raw Newbie

    Hey

     

    I think maybe you need new pollen traps. Watching my bees pass through my traps I have never seen any legs being ripped off or seen bee legs in my pollen.

    When I harvest 10 lbs of pollen every two days DURING abundance I know this isn't affecting their health as upon hive inspection the hives have an abundance of pollen stored. Harvesting pollen actually helps them from "pollen bounding" themselves during heavy pollen flow. 

    More bees are harmed during honey harvesting. Gonna boycott honey too ?

    One Love 

    P.S. people please do your own research before you just to boycotts, peoples' livelihoods depend on it. 

    fgc70
  • matthewrmatthewr Raw Newbie
    angie207 said:

    Dates are high-glycemic, too. I have had type 1 diabetes for seven years, and have been eating high raw for the last three. The first summer of this new way of eating, I ate a lot of raw honey. I once ate a half-gallon of creamy honey in three days – scooped it out with a spoon (I think I needed magnesium – raw cacao wasn’t on the market yet). Anyway, my blood sugars were good & normal with only one third the previous amount of insulin by eating so much raw food, even when I ate all that honey. Everyone is different, and I don’t feel good with that much honey now, but that may change again; who knows.

    Bees DO need to keep some honey to eat during the winter, so it’s important to buy the honey from someone who leaves the bees enough to eat, instead of taking all the honey & feeding the bees on sugar water or corn syrup for the winter, but if you ever see a hive from which honey has not been collected, there is usually LOTS of old honey getting dark (going bad) because the bees don’t eat everything they make.

     There's nothing wrong with harvesting and eating bee pollen if done correctly, please don't be so quick to jump to conclusions. Just be knowledgeable of how and where your bee products come from.

     

    One love from @Guanaboavalleyhoney . give me a shout on IG if you would like to know more about pollen harvesting 

    bitt said:

    I never even had been pollen but I will discourage others if I am asked about it. My cat killed a bee once. Bad boy!

     

  • aminejaminej Raw Newbie

    Hello

    I'm a beekeeper in England and most of the bee pollen traps that are used are harmless to the bees.

    Of course collecting pollen should be done carefully not only to not damage the bees but also to make sure they have enough food.

    Honey has been collected for thousands of years and has great health benefits when one does collect honey I believe has to make sure not to deprive them from all of it

    Yes, Izhpt, sorry to say, but that is naive.

    Dr. Michael Klapper, M.D., (a vegan doctor and best selling author) advises against using honey for health reasons, because it spikes natural sugar levels of the body. Moreover, there have been documented cases of botulism from people eating honey. Of course, eating honey in its raw form increases the opportunity for botulism. Honey is, basically, regurgitated bee vomit.

    Bees make enough honey for the colony and enough pollen for the new queen. They don’t go to all the trouble to give it to you.

    When someone disturbs a colony to take honey or pollen it places a great amount of stress on the bees. This disorients them for a period and, in that sense, their whole order has been tampered with.

    I wouldn’t dream of stealing from bees. There is no need in my opinion when you can use delicious and nutritious alternative such as fresh organic dates to sweeten recipes. You can even make a date paste if you need something of a liquid nature. Simply blend some pitted dates with a little water.

    Kristen Suzanne

     

     

    ΝίκοςΒουλγαράκης
  • Harmony1Harmony1 Raw Superstar

    As long as maple syrup is still okay innocent I just wish it were raw. 

    ClaireT
  • patriciab6951patriciab6951 Raw Newbie

    OMG

    as i posted on your site the way bee pollen is collected is equal to killing calves for veal and dogs for leather. The good Lord entrusted us with this world and killing the bees to make a profit is devastating. no wonder there is a shortage of bees.

    ClaireT
  • ClaireTClaireT Raw Master
    Harmony1 said:

    As long as maple syrup is still okay innocent I just wish it were raw. 

     Is it possible to get raw maple syrup?

    aprill7913
  • edited May 2018

    I wish these people like KristensRaw open their mouths only to speak about things they actually know. Unfortunately, they do it in a superficially and naive way, spreading nonsense about things they have a very distorted idea about.

    Pollen is gathered from beekeepers safely and prepared responsibly by the majority of beekeepers and it is a very healthy thing to consume.

    It boosts cognitive functions  and memory and is suitable for people before exams or people after some trauma / surgery /illness etc.

    Bees gather pollen when they find it and they do NOT stop when their needs are met, but keep gathering as long as they can find. Or, as long as there is room in the hive.

    Responsible beekeeping protects the bees from starvation and a number of illnesses and frankly, without beekeepers bees would have a really rough time out there in the open.

    Have a great day!

    ClaireTfgc70
  • harpmomharpmom Raw Newbie

    I am a big supporter of bees. When I first went vegan (before raw), my roommate couldn't understand why I wouldn't eat honey. Wish I had had this info to share!

    fgc70
  • fgc70fgc70 Raw Newbie

    I’m a beekeeper and most beekeepers use a system of Silicone mats with holes that are very gentle. They knock off SOME of the pollen, not all of it. Bees collect and produce FAR more than the hive could ever need and we always feed our bees. You don’t know this but we check on them constantly and if anything looks amiss or it’s been chilly or rainy... we FEED. Pollen and honey and sugar water and solid sugar. Pollen cakes... we make sure they’re taken care of. This is another hysterical conversation between a bunch of bored women who have no actual experience in the field. These aren’t wild hives we’re taking from, they’re honey supers. Once the bees fill up the hive below the queen excluder they continue to make far more honey than the bees will likely ever uncap, which is why there is dark honey. It sits in the combs for literal years and the bees almost never get around to eating it. They’re the overachievers of the animal kingdom so eat your raw honey and eat your pollen and Propolis. Royal Jelly is fine too, actually. A lot of it comes from when hives produce a new queen and prepare to swarm. The old queen will be killed if they allow her to grow to maturity or the new queen will swarm with half the hive and either the old or the new or both can die. That’s why you get royal jelly. You take it from the empty queen cells before the egg is hatched and the queen never grows so the colony stays whole. It’s completely vegan and raw. In future? Ask a beekeeper who makes raw honey and follows ethical practices and you’ll get an answer with some experience behind it instead of ranting on the internet about things you overheard at erewhon

  • fgc70fgc70 Raw Newbie

    I wish these people like KristensRaw open their mouths only to speak about things they actually know. Unfortunately, they do it in a superficially and naive way, spreading nonsense about things they have a very distorted idea about.

    Pollen is gathered from beekeepers safely and prepared responsibly by the majority of beekeepers and it is a very healthy thing to consume.

    It boosts cognitive functions  and memory and is suitable for people before exams or people after some trauma / surgery /illness etc.

    Bees gather pollen when they find it and they do NOT stop when their needs are met, but keep gathering as long as they can find. Or, as long as there is room in the hive.

    Responsible beekeeping protects the bees from starvation and a number of illnesses and frankly, without beekeepers bees would have a really rough time out there in the open.

    Have a great day!

     THIS THIS THIS. 

    ohmygoddd thank you 

  • fgc70fgc70 Raw Newbie

    OMG

    as i posted on your site the way bee pollen is collected is equal to killing calves for veal and dogs for leather. The good Lord entrusted us with this world and killing the bees to make a profit is devastating. no wonder there is a shortage of bees.

    There is a shortage of bees because of several factors:

    1) mites: Tracheal and Varroa Destructor. They infest hives and spread RNA Viruses like Malformed Wing Virus.

    2) Shortwave Radio: Colony collapse often happens near freeways where truckers go by using CB radios to talk to each other when they’re bored. The frequency messes up the GPS in bees’ brains and they can’t find their way back to the hive. Eventually the hive becomes too small to cover the brood, the brood cools off too much and dies in the comb, and the bees left live out their 45 days and die, leaving the hive empty.

    3) pesticides on crops and in homes.


    so as an individual who runs an urban bee rescue, I am in a position to not only save the bees that swarm into residences and water meters where they’d normally be killed, I can also provide keepers with mite resistant feral queens to breed into their hives. I can talk to both keepers and truckers and recommend they switch to whatsapp or only use CB radio at night when the bees are inside. Don’t make blanket statements about things you don’t know anything about whatsoever. Without beekeepers bees would die off. Most commercial honey sources purchase low quality honey and mix it with corn syrup. Raw honey is subject to extremely high quality and ethical standards. And we LOVE our bees. You cannot understand how much we love them, they are our very lives and often they choose us to care for them. They’re very smart and very good at reading people. That’s why I’ve been stung ONCE since they chose me and it was an accident, I accidentally caught one in my elbow and pinned it there and it stung me to get my attention saying “you’re squishing me!” 

  • fgc70fgc70 Raw Newbie

    Oh… I’m sorry to be the one to start this topic, being such a bee product fan, but—I kept bees for a few years, and in my research I discovered some information that didn’t sit so well with the caring part of myself.

    Bees collect pollen in sacs that are attached to their legs. To harvest the pollen, commercial beekeepers use a thick “comb” in the bottom of the hive, in the slit the bees use as a entrance/exit. The bees then have to drag themselves across the “comb” to enter or exit the hive. The bristles catch and often tear off their limbs and other parts, and, consequently, pull most of the pollen they’ve collected off their legs in the process. The beekeepers then collect the pollen and and get rid of most of the “debris” (aka. bee body parts).

    Pollen is like bee bread (any of you who have tasted it can testify!)—they need it to survive as a healthy colony. Taking the pollen from them (in the usual way) makes them have to forage more often, which is wearing on their bodies and health. Here’s a quote from Wikipedia about bees:

    “As a rule of thumb the foraging area around a beehive extends for two miles (3 km), although bees have been observed foraging twice and three times this distance from the hive. Foraging at extreme distances wears out the wings of individual bees, reduces the life expectancy of foraging bees and therefore the efficiency of the colony.”

    Royal jelly is also harvested at the expense of the health of the colony, although I haven’t done enough research to give the specific facts. Basically, commercial, industrial beekeeping and pollen/royal jelly-harvesting practices are cruel on the small scale and dangerous on a large scale. They’re degrading the health and balance of honey bees and should be boycotted. Bees are so important to the health and survival of our natural world… It’s in our best interest to keep them healthy. Please help this situation by not buying bee pollen (or royal jelly) from large industrial companies and by educating those around you to do likewise! Thanks…

     Also “Bee Bread” is actually a thing. Pollen is protein so no, it’s not actually like bread at all. 

  • fgc70fgc70 Raw Newbie
    edited March 18

    I think that honey and propolis and all the things that bees create are amazing and magical and can be used medicinally to good affect. There used to be more of a balance between honey bees and humans… we had to work a little harder to collect their bounty. With the industrialization and standardizing of their dwellings and environments (Bees naturally make rounded cone-shaped hives, hanging from strong branches or in the hollows of trees…) and by systematically introdcing hybridized, non-native, weak bees into environments all over the world, we’ve weakened them to an extreme extent. They aren’t strong enough to supply us with the same amount of medicine (honey, propolis, pollen)....

    There are some beekeepers that have a really good relationship with their bee friends and are careful about how much and what they take from them. But bee “keeping” is unnatural and 98% of the time, not ideal for the bees. It’s a complicated issue.

    Send the bees your love, set out a dish of water when it’s hot and dry out (that’s what they travel the farthest for), plant flowers, let your garden go to seed (or at least through flowering), limit the amount of bee products you consume, and consume with consciousness and gratitude…

     Where do you get your information about beehives? Winnie the Pooh? The hives in nature look more like aerodynamic stalactites. A lot of car manufacturers get the ideas for making cars smoother and structurally sound comes from studying beehives in nature. Hives can resemble anything but for the most part they have a wave pattern and deep channels to maximise surface area. Lol. This whole topic is full of people spouting off info they’re literally making up as they go along   

    EDIT: Also hybridised bees aren’t weaker? They’re stronger. There’s no such thing as wild honeybees here. They’re imported from Italy and Asia. There’s a new mite resistant strain from outside Vladivostok in Russia, these bees are predominantly black, and a tad more aggressive than their Italian counterpart. The Latin name for the common honeybee is Apis Mellifera Mellifera, aka the Italian Honeybee or if found in the wild, the Western Honeybee. I just rescued a water meter full of them, they’re in my backyard making wax and enjoying the citrus blooms. Seriously? Actually do some research on beekeeping and etymological sites instead of making stuff up or embellishing something you read on a raw mommy blog. 

    ps: if the hive was a cone shape, how would bees access the center of it?

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