Honeycombs are hexagonal wax cells built by honey bees within their nests to contain their larvae and stores of honey and pollen. Typically, beekeepers remove the entire honeycomb to harvest the raw honey and then replace it because it takes time and energy for bees to construct them. Fresh, new honeycomb is sometimes sold intact to eat. The benefits from eating honeycomb are related to the honey and bee pollen, much more so than the bees wax. If you are allergic to bee stings or bee products, then you should be very cautious with honeycomb and consult with your doctor.

Benefits of Honey

Honey acts as an antimicrobial agent because it contains an enzyme that produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is deadly to mainly pathogenic microorganism, according to “Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition." As such, honey can relieve some forms of gastritis and may be able to combat stomach ulcers caused by the bacteria H. pylori. Raw honey also acts a strong antioxidant, which scavenge harmful free-radicals linked to tissue damage, aging and even cancer. According to “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” darker colored honeys are usually stronger antioxidants than lighter types. Honey is also a good, readily absorbed source of glucose and a spoonful or two can be useful for diabetics who are hypoglycemic.

Benefits of Bee Pollen

Bee pollen consists of pollen from a variety of plant species mixed with plant nectar and saliva from worker bees. Pollen, nectar and saliva collect on the legs of bees as they pollinated flowers, which is then collected by devices near the opening of bee hives. Despite not sounding too appetizing, bee pollen is packed full of nutrition and many consider it a “super-food.” According to “Biochemistry of Human Nutrition,” bee pollen contains about 35 percent complete protein, numerous fatty acids, soluble fiber, high concentrations of B-complex vitamins and many digestive enzymes. Bee pollen is consumed to boost energy, aid digestion and to help reduce the symptoms of hay-fever caused by air-born allergens, although very little scientific research has examined its affect on people. Bee pollen also contains propolis, a resin from plants that retards the growth of fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Bee Larvae

Bee larvae are developing bees and sometimes they do not live to become part of the hive. Consequently, honeycomb may contain undeveloped larvae or parts of bees, such as legs or wings, mixed with the honey and pollen, according to “Contemporary Nutrition." Parts of bees certainly add to the protein content of eating honeycomb or raw honey, although it may not be pleasant to think about. Most beekeepers who sell honeycomb are careful to remove any obvious remnants of bee larvae. If you are allergic to bee stings, consuming honeycomb may cause a negative reaction in you, although bee pollen naturally reduces histamine production and may provide some protection.

Bees Wax

The major component of honeycomb is bees wax, which is used as structural support. Bees wax has no nutritional content and widely believed to be inert, but some nutritional experts contend that it may display mild anti-inflammatory properties, as cited in “Nutritional Sciences." Regardless, eating large amounts of waxy material may slow digestion and lead to constipation, so its best to start with small amounts and notice how your body responds to it.