Bee Pollen Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/22/22 •  8 min read

What are bee pollen benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are bee pollen pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

bee pollen benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on bee pollen benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about bee pollen benefits and side effects. This will include bee pollen benefits for your health and potential risks, bee pollen water footprint and bee pollen carbon footprint, bee pollen sustainability, if bee pollen is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if bee pollen is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about bee pollen benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Bee Pollen Benefits And Side Effects


Bee pollen benefits for health may include:

There are no major or notable bee pollen side effects. Be sure to eat in moderation as with any food. Do not over-consume.

Additionally, bee pollen is…


Water footprint: likely low

Carbon footprint: likely low, 1.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of honey, a car driving equivalent of 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers

Destruction: high, bee pollen production is relatively destructive, it is disruptive in ecosystems involving severe strain on bee populations

Bee pollen is…


Kills: bees, may be killed during cross-country transportation for intense pollination practices, which can also lead to spreading diseases and illnesses to other colonies

Harms: bees, may be harmed during cross-country transportation for intense pollination practices, which can also lead to spreading diseases and illnesses to other colonies

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife

Bee pollen is…


Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Bee pollen…

Where does most bee pollen come from?

Bee pollen comes from places like India, USA, China, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Australia.
The world’s top bee pollen exporting country is Indonesia, followed by China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Spain, Singapore, Thailand, USA, New Zealand, Australia.

Is bee pollen nutritious?

Bee Pollen is very high in vitamins and nutrients including a B complex, all essential amino acids, fatty acids, RNA/DNA nucleic acids, enzymes, and protein.

bee pollen is gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is bee pollen gluten free?

Yes, bee pollen is gluten free. Bee pollen does not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

bee pollen is not a common food allergen.

bee pollen benefits include being safe for most

Is bee pollen a common food allergen?

No, bee pollen is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to bee pollen but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

bee pollen is unsustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is bee pollen eco friendly? Is bee pollen sustainable?

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

bee pollen is not vegan.

bee pollen side effects include harming animals and ecosystems

Is bee pollen vegan?

No, bee pollen is not vegan. Bee pollen is the byproduct of a worker honeybee therefore making it an animal-derived food.

Balls or pellets of field-gathered flower pollen packed by worker honeybees, used as the primary food source for the hive, must be used in order to produce bee pollen. 

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

bee pollen is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is bee pollen a product with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major laborer concerns with bee pollen production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about bee pollen benefits and side effects.


bee pollen – FoodData Central

Bee Pollen Popular – Natural Resources Conservation Service

Biological and therapeutic properties of bee pollen: a review

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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