Honeybees and Propolis


Honeybees and Propolis (aka Bee glue, balsam, hive dross)

Honeybees collect resin from various trees, mainly conifers.

The bees blend it with wax flakes thus turning it into a complex chemical mix called propolis.

When warm propolis looks like brown sticky glue, when cold it looks like glass crystals.

Honeybees are always grooming each other and scrupulously clean the insides of their hives.

They use propolis to help with this cleanliness. It has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Worker bees also line the insides of brood cells in preparation for the queen’s laying of eggs. Over time this discolours the comb.

New comb not yet propolised.

They also use it for sealing small gaps, to reduce vibration, to inhibit bacterial growth and to make the hive more defensible by sealing alternate entrances. If a mouse or large insect invades the hive the bees can kill it but cannot remove it.To prevent putrefaction they coat the body with propolis which mummifies it thus sealing off any source of infection.The body will remain perfectly preserved for years.

Human use
Proplis was used in folk medicine as early as 300 BC for medical and cosmetic purposes, and as an anti-inflammatory drug and wound-healing agent.

The earliest historical record of propolis dates back to the time of Hippocrates(around the year 460BC). The “father of medicine.” Hippocrates used propolis for a variety of ailments, including ulcers and treatment of wounds. It was so effective as a salve that it was standard practice to use it to treat wounds during ancient wars.

Egyptians used propolis mixed with honey and other resins to mummify their pharaohs preserving them, as far as possible, for the next life.

Propolis was even classified as a drug in 17th century England

Medicinal properties ascribed to Propolis
Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, local anesthetic properties and stimulates immune system.

Propolis medicinal treatments.
lcers, open wounds, headaches, sore throat, colds, sinus and eczema amongst others. It is now seen as a beneficial natural food supplement.

Persons, who are allergic to bee pollen, honey, conifer and poplar trees, are advised not to use propolis supplements. Proplis may also affect asthmatics.