Chemical Composition and Amounts of Mineral Elements in Honeybee-Collected Pollen in Relation to Botanical Origin

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This study was conducted at the apiary of the Agricultural and Veterinary Training and Research Station, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia. The purpose was to study the relationship between the botanical origin and chemical composition of bee-collected pollen. The amount of mineral elements present in bee-collected pollen was also studied. The composition of pollen loads showed the maximum contents of dry matter, ash, glucose, fructose, magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), and manganese (Mn) for the date palm; the maximum contents of protein, calcium (Ca), and zinc (Zn) for alfalfa; the maximum contents of fiber, and copper (Cu) for the sunflower; the maximum contents of the lipids and iron (Fe) for summer squash; and the maximum contents of sodium (Na), and potassium (K) for rape. Calcium was found to be correlated in a significantly (p<0.01) positive way with K, Na, Mg, P, Mn, and Zn. Copper, though, was correlated in a significantly (p<0.01) negative way with Ca, Mg, P, Mn, and Zn. The high levels of protein, ash, glucose, and fructose, and low lipid content found in bee-pollen from the date palm and from alfalfa, mean that pollen from the date palm and from alfalfa make an excellent food supplement. It was concluded, that the chemical composition of beecollected pollen can be correlated with the plant species from which pollen was collected.

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