Much more than simple flying insects, bees are crucial to the balance of all life on earth, thanks to their important role as plant pollinators. As bees move from bloom to bloom, they pollinate various plants while collecting pollen itself, before eventually returning to their carefully constructed hives. As bees carry out their efficient routines, they create different kinds of bee products.
Since the time of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece and Rome, bee products have been valued by wide-ranging cultures and incorporated into many wellness traditions. Bee products even appear in sacred texts of various religions, which seem to laud both the industrious insects and their organic creations.
Bee products are formed by different methods and vary in nutritional content based on the specific plants located near the hive. While bee products, which can be internally or externally used in some cases, feature a wide range of beneficial compounds, they all share the presence of antioxidants, which fight the age-accelerating effects of free radicals.**
The most popular bee products are:
Honey: Appreciated for millennia by cultures spanning the entire globe, honey is one of the world's oldest and most renowned sweeteners. Commonly an ingredient in food and beverages, the thick, sticky liquid is a staple of Ayurvedic health traditions and has long been esteemed as a natural energy source. Honey also features skin-supporting properties.**
Bee Pollen: The result of bees bringing flower pollen into the hive and mixing it with other substances, including nectar, bee pollen is shaped into granules that contain a mix of flavonoids, enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, among other nutrients. Bee pollen has been studied for a number of beneficial effects. It is most famous for supporting immune health.**
Bee Propolis: A substance with a resinous quality, bee propolis is used to seal, sterilize and protect beehives. Made from tree sap and other plant sources, propolis has been historically called upon to help skin, mouth and throat health.** Rich in flavonoids and other compounds, bee propolis helps to support healthy immune function.**
Royal Jelly: Generated by worker bees, royal jelly is a milky material with notable amino acid content that is utilized for nutrition by the queen of the hive. Like other bee products, it is well-regarded for its ability to optimize energy levels and immune function.**
Bee Product Supplements, Liquids & Balms
Bee products are derived from beehives and available in a wide range of forms. They may be offered in capsule, tablet, powder, granule or liquid varieties, among others. Honey is sometimes paired with royal jelly or propolis. Bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis are also sometimes sold as a combined supplement.
Bee Products Directions for Use
Seek advice from your health professional before taking bee products or beginning any routine supplementation. While there is no standard dosage for bee products, capsules are often 400 mg to 1,000 mg.