The internal work procedure:
Based on the special literature and on our observations, we put the basis for a collecting, transporting, stocking and drying system. This system proves to be very efficient in preventing the appearance of the butterfly larvae, this being the most frequent and serious problem of the dried pollen.
Beginning with 2005 this system proved to be very efficient, all such problems disappearing completely
The pollen is identified by region, type, date of harvest, by beekeepers (traceability), by label and packaging inscriptions; this method offers us precise information about our product.
The beekeepers from our network have in custody deep freezer boxes distributed by us. Thus, the pollen is collected daily.
Immediately after collecting it, the beekeepers put the pollen in the deep freezer boxes at the temperature of – 18*C and store it here until we take it over. The time between two pollen acquisitions is 7-12 days.
The transport from the beekeepers to our warehouse lasts between 2 and 7 hours. After the transport the pollen cartons, palletized, are stored in a professional deep freezer box, having the capacity of 20-30 tones, at the temperature of -20*C. The pollen stays in the deep freezer box until it arrives to the next step: the drying process. The preservation of the pollen under such conditions prevents the appearance and development of the germs.
The drying process takes place in tunnels with warm air, +30*C, max. +40*C, with a very good ventilation, in 3 - 4 tonnes/ lot. The tunnels are specially built for this purpose and they have inside a controlled atmosphere. These conditions guarantee a uniform, continuous drying process and it lasts until the humidity of the pollen is within the parameters required by the client, humidity and excessive light, the bee pollen has a validity of 2 years from the moment between 3%-7%.
The pollen’s humidity degree is verified with a humidity meter, latest edition, purchased from Samap, France. (www.samap.fr)
As soon as the pollen is taken out from the tunnels it is hermetically packed in alimentary polyethylene bags, no longer being in contact with the humidity from the atmosphere.
Respecting these conditions and having an appropriate storing, far away from of drying.
In response to common concerns about working with bees:
* "Unfortunately, whilst beekeepers say they love love their bees, they:
- believe me- and this is told to you by a person which is among the bee keepers since 2010- a good bee keeper can't do this activity without loving his darling bees. They talk about them with admiration, they care about them and they will not do anything to harm the bees, it's a symbiosis between those two parts: bee keeper and bees. I see all the time how they talk about them, how much they appreciate their work- if a pollen grain falls outside the bee hive they take it and they introduce it inside- they say that is a lot of work for one bee to gather a grain. The same for the honey, every drop must be used responsibly. For a responsible bee keeper, the bees are like their own children, they truly love their bees.
These feelings are characteristic for the majority of the bee keepers. A bee keeper who practice this activity for 15-20-30 years or more, many times from father to son, respect the nature because they know that if they harm the bees or the nature they harm their own families, because if the bees are not well treated they will not have a decent production and like this no revenues. And if you drain out the bees for one year, the next year you will have very weak bee families- meaning weak production or even worst- a weak bee colony will not pass the winter in the next year alive. Even if they would do anything that is not ok, they can't.
Our bee keepers are very good selected, they have a minimum experience of 10 years (but we have a lot of them with 30-40 years of experience), we know all of them by name, nick name, house, families, dogs, etc. We meet them at least 20 times during the season (April-September) and 3 times after that, so we are like a big family.
* still cut the queen's wings
- these are standard procedures for every bee keeper in the world, who practice the bee keeping as an "activity, job". This is made because otherwise the queen would fly away from the bee hive and form a new colony somewhere else. And nobody can afford to loose the entire bee colony for this reason. The difference is if they cut the entire wing- rare procedure, or if they cut only the peak of the wing. Like this, the bees are not harmed and if they fly away from the bee hive, they will fly very close and the bee keeper can bring them home in a short time. This is the standard procedure.
* cull the male bees
- the working bees eject the bumblebees from the hive because they don't produce honey, they don't help the colony and they are not useful inside. It's a natural process.
* treat the hive with miticides, antibiotics and acid washes
- this can't happen, because everything is seen in a laboratory so nobody risks to do that. And why to harm your bees with these products? If you would do like this you will help them only by that moment and after that they will be weak. Being weak means no production, simple.
Also, in the ecologic system this is forbidden and strictly respected. They treat the hives only with organic products. Just think that in the laboratory, 1 mg of antibiotics is discovered in 1000 kilo of honey. So, no chance to use those products.
* kill the queen annually and provide an artificially inseminated replacement
- Wrong, they don't do that because a good colony resist few years, the queen lives up to 5 years. Of course after 2-3-4 years, depending of the conditions the queen must be replaced, because if she's not laying eggs the colony will be weak and die.
* open the hives weekly for inspection, despite the fact that it stresses the bees and loses the precious medicinal hive atmosphere and heat
- standard procedures in the season. During the season it's possible to open the hives weekly because other wise you can't know if they have enough food, if the combs are full with honey, etc. You have to check also if the bees are healthy, no parasites inside.
If you don't open the hives how could you know what's inside?
This is not stressful for the bees because the bee keepers work very gentle, they just take a look, they don't shake the bees. And this procedure is very short, the bees create back the inside atmosphere in a very short period of time, no problem.
* feed with sugar to replace the stolen honey, despite plenty of research proving that it deteriorates the guts of the bees just as it does ours....
- No. Everything can be seen in the laboratory, no chance to do this in the seson, during the honey crop.
And yes, of course, a responsible bee keeper will feed the bees with sugar syrups (natural products, obtained from organic corn, for example) if they don't have proper conditions to gather nectar from the specific fauna. If they don't have flowers outside, if the weather is not good for them: low temperature in the season, heavy rains, very windy, very dried, extreme heat- of course they have to be helped, not let die. Even if you let all the honey, bee pollen and bee bread inside the hive, if the conditions are extreme- heavy rains, extreme heat, etc- the bees will eat everything inside and after that will die if nobody help them.
Usually this don't happen, they have plenty of natural food inside. And also during the honey crop they don't feed the bees with syrups- the scary laboratory tests :)
I could go on, but these are usual practice of beekeepers, particularly those that are producing bee products.