Bee Brood

Bee brood (immature bees) was probably a useful source of protein to hunter-gatherers in many parts of Asia and Africa, and honey bee larvae have now produced commercially, and marketed either raw or cooked. Mature A. mellifera larvae have been found to contain about 60% as much protein as beef and about 30% more fat (fresh weight). Pupae contain somewhat more protein and less fat. Both larvae and pupae contain vitamins A and D. Such bee brood is eaten in parts ofAsia (e.g., Korea, China, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam) but not in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh. Some eastern Mediterranean religions forbade the eating of certain insects because these were regarded as unclean. One of the Dead Sea scrolls, from about 200 to 100 B.C., had the prohibition: "Let no man defile his soul with any living being or creeping thing by eating of them, from the larvae of bees [in honey] to all the living things that creep in water." (The digestive system of any animal was considered to be unclean, and it was impractical to remove these organs from individual bees.)

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