Pollen has been called the pinnacle of the Vegetable kingdom as it contains the female and male essences of many plants. It has also been
considered as a combination of the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Although this is somewhat questionable; there is some evidence that bees use their saliva as a cohesive factor to help bind the grains together into disks and thereby contributing enzymes and growth stimulants to the pollen.
(see- Report on Bee Pollen, author unknown; Parachemy vol. VII, no. 2, pp 639-644.)
Bees collect pollen from plants by grooming it from their bodies and pressing it into round disks in their back leg kneejoint plates. These disks are knocked off when the bee returns to the hive by the bee passing through a specific diameter mesh and the pollen falls into a tray for collection by the beekeeper.
Pollen contains many properties; bees need it as a basic source of protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, hormones etc. and as a component of royal jelly it contributes in the transformation of a worker lava into becoming a queen.
The source and quality of the pollen is a major factor. The bees have already separated it from nature and concentrated it for their own use.
The fresher the better straight from the hive and kept cool. If it has been heated, frozen or is old the result is not as good.
Ether is a good menstruum for pollen as it extracts more of the sulphur but has to be purified by sweating off the ether in a retort by just using hot water from the tap (similar to oil of egg; put the receiver in an ice bucket, beware of pressure buildup and no smoking please!). The residue is then macerated with pure spirit and filtered. A good tincture can also be made using pure grape spirit with a digestive heat for maceration. It averages between 30 & 40 degrees C here in the Australian summer, which is ideal for digestion. And the spirit preserves the DNA (unlike formalin used for the preservation of specimens).
Pure spirit/alcohol produces a deep amber tincture but any amount of water will cause it to emulsify into cloudy yellow-orange. Water can cause some oil to congeal on the surface rim but this can be redissolved with pure spirit.
When subjected to heat it can expand so leave some room in the flask/container. The body reduces considerably when calcined to a very fine white salt.
It can be fermented with honey to produce a spirit, (mead) so all three essentials can be obtained from it.
A few drops of the tincture in water or wine is a good pick-me-up. You might want to use the same glass as it coats and strongly flavours any container that is used.