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What's The Buzz On Bee Pollen?

Parrots in the wild might eat bee pollen while they're foraging, but is it good for our parrots at home?

Patricia Sund

Follow Patricia Sund on Twitter at @parrotnation

Bee pollen

Bee pollen is food for young bees. The workers fly around from plant to plant collecting the pollen. After returning to the hive, they feed it to their younger cousins.

Bee pollen is approximately 40 percent protein. It also contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein.

However, the mysterious issue about bee pollen is that while scientists know what is in it and can reproduce it ingredient by ingredient in a lab, if they feed the manmade stuff to a bee, it will die. And they simply cannot figure out why. What is it about natural bee pollen that gives bees the gift of life when reproducing it in the lab kills them? As I said, it’s a mystery.

It has been touted to help with a myriad of health issues such as obesity, infertility, compromised immunity and allergies. But the benefits of bee pollen has stumped scientists for years. One of the reasons for this is due to the varying plant life and quality of the pollen that makes up the product. The composition varies not only from day-to-day, but hour-by-hour depending on the plants they harvest from, the condition of the plants and the other environmental issues. So it is not a consistent product and therefore difficult to test.

It would make sense that parrots might ingest bee pollen from eating plants and flowers in the wild. But again, little is known about the helpful properties of it.

What scientists do have to say about it is that if you are allergic to bee stings or pollen, or if you are pregnant, you shouldn’t consume it.

It’s one of those controversial products and to be honest, very little is known about it. Some people swear by the benefits and yet the scientists simply can’t get a handle on what it is that makes it so special. So in regards to bee pollen for parrots: the jury is still out.

Next: 5 Reasons You Should Feed Beans To Your Flock
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Posted: September 11, 2014, 10:45 a.m. PDT

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What's The Buzz On Bee Pollen?

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Reader Comments
Interesting and it makes sense that parrots would get it naturally in the wild!
Terry, Houston, TX
Posted: 9/13/2014 10:12:48 PM
Good information! Thanks.
Janet, Bald Head Island, NC
Posted: 9/11/2014 2:45:12 PM
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