Bee Pollen

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Credit: Petr Necas

The Mystery of Bee Pollen Unleashed

BEE POLLEN What is pollen? The grains of pollen are microscopic gameotophytes (male reproductive units) that form in the anthers of flowering plants.
What is bee pollen? Pollen that is collected by honey bees and is referred to as bee pollen. It is the simplest and actually only realistic available source of pollen, as it is collected by bees and from them it is by special pollen traps collected, packed and sold by beekeepers.
Why consider pollen as food supplement for chameleons? It is an integral daily part of the diet of wild chameleons. Chameleons in general prefer feeding on flying insects, such as bees, wasps, flies and small beetles. All these feeders are heavily dusted with pollen. The bees even carry two granules of pollen on their legs. For chameleons it is therefore very natural to be permanently supplied with pollen.
What is the composition of pollen? Bee Pollen contains (at least): 22 amino acids 18 vitamins 25 minerals 59 trace elements 11 enzymes and co-enzymes 14 fatty acids 11 carbohydrates natural antibiotics potent antioxidants sugars (up to 40%) proteins (up to 40%)
What are the benefits of pollen? It provides nutrition (amino acids, proteins) It provides vitamins It provides important elements It provides important minerals it provides important amino acids Therefore: It boosts immunity it builds resistance to diseases It provides a natural antibiotic shield against diseases
Where can you get it? Local beekeepers Walmart Pharmacy Amazon In what form is it available? Granules, collected by bees on their feet using special comb-like structures to collect and form granules, Powder, usually filled in capsules.
How to store it? Bee pollen is dried pollen, that is best to be stored in hermetically closed jars in dark at room temperature, otherwise it hydrates, oxides, is degraded by fungi and bacteria.
How can we provide it to chameleons? There are basically four options: 1. gutload your feeders 2. make the feeders a little moist and dust them with pollen (so that it does not fall off) 3. dissolve the pollen in water and let them drink it 4. make the chameleon open mouth and put directly in it and add some water to swallow.
How often should it be given? Every meal! In the wild, chameleons ingest pollen with almost every bite. So, in captivity it is logical to follow the same frequency. How important is pollen to chameleons? As it is an integral part of the natural diet of bees, it is for chameleons of crucial importance.
We in general do not feed to chameleons what they eat in the wild (flying insects, bees, wasps, small beetles), instead we feed them, what they never eat in the nature (crickets, roaches, locusts, larvae of beetles, butterflies and moths). Pollen can help to close a bit of the gap. Not providing pollen can lead to avitaminoses, weekend immune system, diseases and death. Providing bee pollen should be considered a part of best practice in chameleon husbandry. It is of same importance as providing: UV Supplements and vitamins Calcium.
Additional details: Vitamins:�Provitamin A (carotenoids),�Vitamin B1 (thiamine),�Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), �Vitamin B3 (niacin, nicotinamide), �Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid),�Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B9 (folic acid),�Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin),�Vitamin C (ascorbic acid),�Vitamin D (D3, cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol succinate),�Vitamin H (biotin),�Vitamin K, Choline, Inositol,�Rutin.� Minerals: B (boron), Ca (calcium), Cl (chlorine), Cu (copper), Fe (iron), I (iodine), K (potassium), Ma (manganese), Mg (magnesium), Mo (molybdenum), Na (sodium), P (phosphorus), S (sulphur), Se (selenium), Si (silica), Sn (zinc), Fatty Acids: Caproic (C-6) - Caprylic (C-8), Capric (C-10) - Lauric (C-12), Myristic (C-14) - Palmitic (C-16), Palmitic (C-15), Uncowa - Stearic (C-18), Oleic (C-18), Linoleic (C-18), Arachidic (C-20) - Stearic (C-22), Linolenic (C-18), Eicosanoic (C-20), Brucic (C-22). Carbohydrates:�Cellulose Sporonine, Gums, Pentosans,�Starch,�Sugars (30-40%):� Sucrose,� Fructose,� Glucose.� Enzymes & Co-enzymes:�Amylase, Cataiase, Cozymase. Cytochrome systems, Diaphorase, Disstase, Lactic dehydrogenase, Phosphatase, Pectase, Saccharase, Succinic dehydrogenase.Ti (titanium).
Amino acids: Alanine, Arginine, Aspartic acid, Butyric acid, Cystine, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Histidine, Hydroxyproline, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Thresonine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Valine. Minerals: Alpha-Amino-Butyric Acid, Auxins, Brassins, Crocetin, Diglycerides, Gibberellins, Guanine, Hexodecanol, Hypoxalthine, Kinins, Lycopene, Monoglycerides, Nucleosides, Peutosaus, Triglycerides, Vernine, Xanthine, Zeaxanthin
Pigments:�Alpha & Beta Carotene, Xarmmepayll. Miscellaneous: Amines, Flavonoids, Glucoside of Isorhanstin, Glycosides of Quercetir, Growth Factors, Growth Isorhanetin, Guanine, Hypoxant
 

JuniorC

Avid Member
So when using bee pollen is it ok to cycle it in with the calcium without d eveveryday? As in the other vitamins it takes wont interfere with the bee pollen? Trying to have the healthiest cham
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Not trying to knock the use of Bee Pollen at all, but I do question.

"It is an integral daily part of the diet of wild chameleons. Chameleons in general prefer feeding on flying insects, such as bees, wasps, flies and small beetles. All these feeders are heavily dusted with pollen."

I am not sure I would say all beetles are dusted heavily in pollen, nor all Flies.

Bees and Wasps huh? As in African Bees and Wasps? Link to that? I have seen quite a few stomach content articles, cant say I remember seeing bees and wasps, defiantly not in any large quantity's.

@kinyonga and @JacksJill link alot of stomach articles, you guys see many Bees and Wasps in those?

That's my issue with a lot of Petrs posts. It starts off well, Bee Pollen its packed of Vitamins, use it. Sounds good, will do, do we really need to keep going with statements like

"chameleons ingest pollen with almost every bite."

Which have ZERO scientific backing, and just flat out isnt even common sense truth. It destroys every thing said before it, when you post fantasy like that as fact and do it in a way to support the idea, and reassure. Feel like I am seeing the words written for the TV Media, who is flat out lying to me and sensationalizing the post to get me to have emotional attachment to fake news.

What is the question mark replacing in the nutrition information? Looks like a glitch.
Its a Unicode for an unknown symbol or emoji or whatever. A symbol that works on Facebooks system but it different or unrecognized by the forum board and or your browser.
 
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JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
The studies I have seen were done on Hawaiian specimens and may not be a perfect representation of their natural diet.
"All chameleons but one had food items in their digestive tracts (97.1%); all but four food items were arthropods. Non-arthropods included two landsnails (Oxychilus alliarius) and two lizards (Lampropholis delicata)" "Analyzed taxonomically, homopterans comprised the greatest numbers of prey, followed by dipterans and coleopterans (Table 1). Together, these taxa formed 74.8% of all dietary items." "The large majority of endemic insects consumed at Volcano Village were homopterans of the genera Oliarusand Nesophrosyne, comprising 27.9% of all prey items, but several other native species across a diversity of orders were taken as well"
homopterans = leaf hoppers etc
dipterans = flys
coleopterans= beetles
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
The studies I have seen were done on Hawaiian specimens and may not be a perfect representation of their natural diet.
"All chameleons but one had food items in their digestive tracts (97.1%); all but four food items were arthropods. Non-arthropods included two landsnails (Oxychilus alliarius) and two lizards (Lampropholis delicata)" "Analyzed taxonomically, homopterans comprised the greatest numbers of prey, followed by dipterans and coleopterans (Table 1). Together, these taxa formed 74.8% of all dietary items." "The large majority of endemic insects consumed at Volcano Village were homopterans of the genera Oliarusand Nesophrosyne, comprising 27.9% of all prey items, but several other native species across a diversity of orders were taken as well"
homopterans = leaf hoppers etc
dipterans = flys
coleopterans= beetles

That is still helpful, there is Bees in Hawaii :), and Kingonya has A LOT of stomach studies so hopefully she will chime in with some. I'm not saying they dont eat Bees or Wasps in the wild, to be clear, but "They always eat dusted with pollen feeders" and "Bee pollen with every single Bite" sounds a little off the wall to me.

This sounds more like a Honeycomb commercial than a science based analysis of the benefits of using Bee Pollen, but it could just be me.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
That is still helpful, there is Bees in Hawaii :), and Kingonya has A LOT of stomach studies so hopefully she will chime in with some. I'm not saying they dont eat Bees or Wasps in the wild, to be clear, but "They always eat dusted with pollen feeders" and "Bee pollen with every single Bite" sounds a little off the wall to me.

This sounds more like a Honeycomb commercial than a science based analysis of the benefits of using Bee Pollen, but it could just be me.
To be fair, most of Petr Necas' articles are conjecture and I've found a lot of hyperbole in his posts. Could be an issue with language, who knows? English is difficult for native speakers, let alone anyone else! Regardless, while I read his posts on a semi regular basis and I respect him as a hobbyist, I don't take any of these posts as the end all be all of cham keeping.

Pollen wise, my girls seem to respond well to it. I dust with a bit of bee pollen on about 1/3 of my staple feeders, and my veiled lady Kismet has shown a preference for the feeders dusted with bee pollen as opposed to plain calcium (she eats them first, if offered as a mixed lot). Perhaps it's the color? Who knows! all I have are anecdotal accounts of my own pets.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here is the table from a larger study.
Prey-associated head-size variation in an invasive lizard in the Hawaiian Islands
View attachment 257856
Hmm not 1 Apoidea, Apocrita. We are seeing Hymenoptera, but I really wish they would have subdivided that better. I have seen my Cham eat Ants, they seem to quite enjoy them. In any case the numbers are low, for using such a broad term of species.


To be fair, most of Petr Necas' articles are conjecture and I've found a lot of hyperbole in his posts. Could be an issue with language, who knows? English is difficult for native speakers, let alone anyone else! Regardless, while I read his posts on a semi regular basis and I respect him as a hobbyist, I don't take any of these posts as the end all be all of cham keeping.

Pollen wise, my girls seem to respond well to it. I dust with a bit of bee pollen on about 1/3 of my staple feeders, and my veiled lady Kismet has shown a preference for the feeders dusted with bee pollen as opposed to plain calcium (she eats them first, if offered as a mixed lot). Perhaps it's the color? Who knows! all I have are anecdotal accounts of my own pets.
Right I mean it likely doesn't hurt anything, even if it doesn't help. I dont take issue with the practice, but the way the post is framed. Like a Honeycomb Commercial lol.

Will my Cham also go Coo Coo for Cocopuffs? :p.

I bet your cham would take to the pollen feeders first, I would assume even reptiles have an attraction to sweet foods, which bee pollen is. Shoot we were at ace hardware the other day, and even they were selling fresh honey/bee pollen at the counter lol.

I cant say that I dust with Bee Pollen, but I do put quite a bit bee pollen and spirulina in the bug gutload, I think the gutload I get has it already, I put more.
 
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GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
He does tend to speak in superlatives. I find it distracts from the message.
Thank you Jill! That's the word I was searching for.

I bet your cham would take to the pollen feeders first, I would assume even reptiles have an attraction to sweet foods, which bee pollen is.
I feel like this is highly likely - Kismet will straight up lick bee pollen from her feeder bowl! But at least I know that when I manage to get my hands on roaches (Canada, man) Kiz would definitely eat them if I covered them with bee pollen, haha!
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Credit: Petr Nectas

BEE POLLEN:
BEE POLLEN
as supplement and remedy
Couple of years or even months ago, a big surprise was to talk about pollen.(1) Nowadays, bee pollen is a standard daily part of the diet of chameleons in captivity (same as in the wild)(2), and a regular part of the supplementation schedule - side by side to calcium powder, vitamin D3 and multivitamin mixtures. It was a king fight and still there are groups of people that falsify research and speak against but the majority is already on the side of pollen(3), which is natural part of the chameleon diet and improves significantly the wellness of chameleons in captivity as a complex supplement. Many keepers and breeders reported after the start of enrichment of the food with pollen a general improvement if the fitness, resistance to diseases and even healing properties, especially against bacterial and fungal infections and parasites.(4)
It is time now to start thinking in a more detail...
BEE POLLEN is a substance that has same general composition all around the globe: roughly 40-60 per cent sugars and the rest a mixture of almost any nutrient you can think of: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, trace elements and many other vital substances including natural
antibiotics.

Yet, regardless whether we talk about the pollen collected by bee keepers or the one that contaminates the bodies and guts of pollinators, the detailed composition of it is quite variable and varies based on:
GEOGRAPHY amongst continents, countries, localities
ALTITUDE from lowlands to mountains
BImOME desert, semi-desert, dry forest, tropical forests, meadows etc.
SEASON rainy, dry, spring, summer, autumn
all this logically dependent from the blooming flowers, from which the bees collect it.
The HUMAN INFLUENCE on the planet has also strong impact on the pollen composition due to:
POLLUTION
pollen from cities, industrial, agricultural or mining sites, along big roads etc can be polluted with dust originating from these pollution sources
POISONING
industrial poisons,
disinfectants, pesticides, insecticides used in various regions for various purposes contaminate pollen
The selection of pollen collection sites and seasons by bee keepers and/or pollen collectors as well as the preference of the type/species of bees or pollinators has also a huge impact on pollen composition in terms of:
DIVERSITY
Pollen from huge monocultures of flowering plants or conifers is simple and homogeneous and containing less substances while pollen from a variable and natural landscape
can contain a big diversity of pollen granules collected from different flowers
PURITY
Obviously, pollen from national parks and free nature is purer than that from areas with heavy human impact on the environment. Even standards like “organic” does not necessarily mean the pollen originates from nature, on contrary,
It is often from agricultural landscape just declaring limited or no use of unnatural chemicals.
The storage of pollen has significant influence on its quality.
It can be stored:
FROZEN
Especially fresh pollen, but also dried one
DRIED
the most frequent way if storage
In all cases, it is good to store it in the cold, in the darkness and it is absolutely essential to store the dry one without any contact with moisture, that degrades it quickly and allows bacteria and fungi deteriorate it and produce their toxins. Also, it is not good to store it long term in mixture with Calcium Carbonate or any other vitamin or mineral supplement as it might interact and produce either unwanted or even toxic substances.
Pollen stored properly can last up to 3 years or more with keeping great quality. Opened containers and the ones exposed to humidity, needs ti be consumed within few days maximum.
The pollen is in general present in several forms:
FRESH POWDER
on the pollinators bodies
DRY NATURAL POWDER
received eg during industrial collection of it from conifer monocultures
FRESH DIGESTED
in the pollinators’ guts if they eat it, in different stage of digestion and decomposition
FRESH NATURALLY GRANULATED
this is the form acquired by bee keepers from the bees at the entrance if the bee hive, as bees mix the collected pollen with their saliva and natural juices and nectars to form a granule transportable in their special structures on their legs. It can be stored either frozen or further dried
DRIED NATURALLY GRANULATEDthe dried version of the latter, the most frequent way how pollen is obtained by humans
PULVERIZED
the later is then sometimes grained to become a pulver again, but the structure of the original pollen particles is partly destroyed mechanically
CAPSULIZED
The pulverized pollen is sometimes put into gelatin capsules dosed for human consumption
ARTIFICIALLY GRANULATED
the pulverized or in-water dissolved pollen might be granulated (and dried) again to form bigger granules fir human consumption
BLENDED
Pollen is sometimes used a s part of medicinal or just sweet candies or snacks
PERGA
The fermented pollen mixed with saliva of bees, wax and honey. It is called also “Bee bread” because this is exactly how bees prepare the main food for them.
HONEY
honey consists from pollen substantially too
The bee pollen is in many countries (Europe, Russia, Central Asia, China, Vietnam, New Zealand, USA etc) collected as a side product of bee production and further stored and distributed for human or animal consumption as a food supplement, utilizing its very complex content and almost panacean properties.
For Chameleons, no doubt, would be best to consume pollen from their country/area of origin. The problem is, that almost nowhere, where chameleons live, pollen is collected. Thee are some exceptions such as Malta, Spain, Israel, and maybe some others, but in the vast of the range of the chameleon family, pollen is not available. Many territories have anyway been deforested and the original composition of plants have been heavily modified due to climate change and human activities.
Pollen is a commodity that is subject to many import restrictions, many countries do not allow, mainly for protection against bee diseases, the import of pollen from other territories.
So, the question is now, in all the complexity: what works and what kind of pollen is to be used and for what?
There are two general types of pollen usage and several rules to consider.
SUPPLEMENTATION
As pollen is a natural part of the chameleon diet, it is to be used as supplement at each meal through powdering or gut-loading of feeders or both. The main practice is either to include pollen in the regular feeding of the feeders or to leave them without food a day before feeding and offering them a paste of dissolved pollen in a little of water to eat before being fed to the chameleons.
This way, the pollen is delivered to the chameleon digestive tract and digested, thus providing nutrition and supplementation with necessary nutrients, boosting immunity, adding energy and building an natural-antibiotical shield against bacterial and fungal disease.
A supreme supplementation product of Arcadia: Earth-Pro contains bee pollen and utilizes its potential.
THERAPY
Bee pollen has been successfulky used fir healing or supporting of healing processes in many instances, especially in the case of healing:
Mouth-rot (the cavity after removal of pus is replaced by pollen)
Respiratory and ocular infections (a dose of 1 pollen granule per 10g body weight dissolved in water and given twice a day in the course of 7-10 days was very successful in treating light and middle level RI, manuka pollen and honey is efficient even in severe infections due to high content of natural antibacterial factor MGO: methylglyoxal)
Gout
(half of the above mentioned dose on the course of three weeks)
So, what pollen to choose? What are the rules?
1. Only the best possible is good enough for your chameleon
2. Any good quality pollen is generally good. If it is good for humans, it is good for chameleons.
3. Use high altitude pollen for high altitude species and low altitude one for low altitude species.
4. Use pollen from organic or nature conservancy sources and areas preferably,
5. Not from heavily agriculturally used land or urban and industrial areas.
6. Use pollen from areas free of pesticides, insecticides and other poisons.
7. Use mixed diverse pollen preferably to monoculture one.
8. Use naturally granulated fresh, frozen or dried pollen preferably (in this sequence of priorities).
9. Use pollen from the exact area of distribution or from an analogous one (similar climate, similar plant composition) preferably
10. Use Manuka pollen/honey for therapy, not for prophylaxis. Bacteria can develop resistance as in the case of any antibiotics.
To apply these rules gives you a guide on how to seek for a good source if pollen.
As it is a substance produced locally and often subject to heavy import restrictions, there is no proven global or large-scale provider, you need to seek a local source.
The first choice should be local bee keepers with beehives in or adjacent to nature protected areas.
Grocery stores, Pharmacies and Healthy Food Stores are last choice.
Search in internet too.
Or contact us.
We have a limited but exclusive supply of pollens all around the globe, fitting the highest criteria mentiomed above.
(5)

So this is a more recent version of the OP.
I would like to make some statements based on this. I shortened them to the first paragraph and closing line.
1. Thats not true, Sandrachameleons Gutloading Blogs from 2006 have been singing the praises of Bee Pollen. This isnt a "NEW" idea of Petrs, tone the ego down buddy.
2. Citation needed, so far our 2 have shown this is being over stated, HEAVILY.
3. We say, as we provide zero citation at all?? Okay.....
4. HOLY SNAKE OIL BATMAN! Have these statements been Cleared with the Chameleon FDA???
5. Ohhh Petr is selling his own Brand, Got it :)
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
4. make the chameleon open mouth and put directly in it and add some water to swallow.
I object to this part of the statement. Not to say that you couldn't force feed it but that it is not something you would do unless absolutely medically necessary as force feeding always comes with some risk of aspiration and potential pneumonia. If you are at the point of force feeding just stuffing bee pollen in isn't your best option.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
The list @JacksJill provided...."translated"...I hope..
Coleoptera ...beetles
Gastropoda ...snails
Squamata ...lizards
Diplopoda ...millipedes, etc
Hemiptera ...leafhoppers, cicadas, aphids, etc
Dermaptera ...earwigs, etc
Isopoda ...wood lice, etc
Hymenoptera ...bees, wasps, etc
Orthoptera ...grasshoppers, crickets, etc.
Collembola ...springtails, etc.
Neuroptera ...lacewings, etc.
Dkotera ...flies
Lepidoptera ...butterflies, moths
Araneae ..spiders
Blattodea...roaches, termites, etc.
Psocodes...lice, etc
How many of these would come into contact with pollen?
 
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