Bees need both nectar and pollen to function, but they’re distinctly different. Pollen consists of protein and other nutrients, and nectar contains sugar and vitamins that provide great energy sources for bees. Explore the difference between bee nectar and bee pollen for bees below.
What Is Pollen?
Pollen is a powder-like substance from the male part of flowers (the stamen), which fertilizes the female part (the pistil) to produce seeds. The pistil has a sticky end, called the stigma, that collects the pollen powder.
Pollination is when the pollen powder from the stamen travels to the stigma of the same flower for self-pollination or a different flower for cross-pollination. Since plants cannot move, they need another form of transportation for their pollen. The wind carries some lighter varieties; however, bees and other pollinators accidentally transfer heavier pollen from flower to flower while collecting nectar and pollen for themselves. This process is vital for the existence of many crops, trees, and flowers.
Bees and Pollen
Although bees transfer pollen from plant to plant, they also benefit personally from it. Queen bees use pollen to gain nutrients and ripen their eggs. Honeybees mix nectar and pollen with their saliva to create a substance known as bee bread, which they feed the bee larvae for nourishment.
Pollen can also benefit humans, as it contains loads of vitamins and proteins. Consuming a bit of bee bread daily can relieve symptoms of allergies and asthma. Visit Crystal’s Honey online for bee pollen for sale or if you have questions about bee products.
What Is Nectar?
Nectar is a sweet material that flowers and plants produce to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. It results from the photosynthesis process, and plants use this sugar supply to grow.
How Bees Turn Nectar to Honey
Worker bees collect nectar from plants and flowers using their straw-like tongues, known as proboscises. Nectar provides immediate energy for the bee, and the excess stays in their stomach upon its return to the hive. The nectar then moves to each bee as an enzyme in their stomachs works to change the sugar water into diluted honey. The worker bees store the diluted honey in comb cells, where they circulate the air with their wings to get rid of the remaining water until it develops into honey.
Many people are unaware of the difference between bee nectar and bee pollen for bees. Both are involved in the pollination process, but each possesses distinct differences, making each beneficial to worker bees in different ways.