Have you ever tasted pollen? Not just the dusty stuff that you find on flowers but “bee bread,” the pollen that bees have collected and delicately mixed into a crumb with honey secretions. We tried it for the first time this year with a pollen contraption device. The bees weren’t happy at all. They were quite hesitant to enter their home by squeezing themselves through tiny openings which disconnected these little baskets of pollen. Although our harvest was not nearly as much as the bowl above, we got a taste of this yellow and orange goodness. It’s surprisingly tasty! But we felt guilty taking it away from them so the contraption was more of an experiment than a regular harvesting tool.
Bees are natural builders and problem solvers. When they are allowed to be creative, they will take advantage of the space given to create amazing extrusions of hectagonal cells in various comb forms. But when it comes to foreign objects in their hives, bees are very particular. They do not like it because it does not follow their code of cleanliness. Hence, they make sure it gets encased in propolis or taken out, even if that means bite by bite. The “flower” in the blue sky was unrecognizable after we’d forgotten to take out a honey covered plastic bag in their home.
I used to think that bees eat flower pollen and that was it. Now I know that they enjoy a variety treats. Whenever a cell has been accidentally opened, they do not let the content go to waste. After all, much of it may be royal jelly. The same discipline applies to spilled honey and when mom applies her delicious sugar tea water, the bees happily indulge.