Everyone knows that honey bees create scrumptious honey and delightful wax, however in addition they make a improbable substance known as bee propolis. Like honey, propolis provides a myriad of scientifically researched advantages. 

Propolis is a sticky “bee glue” that’s used inside honey bee colonies. Composed of tree resins, wax, important oils, pollen, and different parts, propolis seals cracks and creates an aseptic envelope that retains crowded colonies wholesome. 

What Is Bee Propolis?

Propolis is a dark-colored, sticky substance that honey bees use to seal cracks, waterproof the within of the hive, and create an antiseptic propolis envelope.

Honey bees are thought of a superorganism- no particular person bee could make it by itself; as a substitute, it’s the collective work of the colony that’s wanted to outlive. In nature, honey bees create colonies (or nests) inside tree hollows. These areas are roughly the identical quantity as two 5 gallon buckets (Bosua et al., 2018).

These small areas may be the house to 20,000-30,000 honey bees. With so many people in such a small area, illness prevention and immune well being are paramount. The propolis envelope serves as an antimicrobial layer, which advantages each particular person immunity and colony well being (Borba, 2015). 

Propolis consists largely of resin, wax, important oils, pollen, and different compounds. The composition of propolis will fluctuate primarily based on geographical location. The vegetation which are rising the place I dwell is probably not the identical vegetation the place you might be. Due to this, greater than 300 compounds corresponding to flavonoids, polyphenols, phenolic aldehydes, sesquiterpene quinines, coumarins, amino acids, steroids, and inorganic compounds have been recognized in propolis samples (Khalil, 2006).

Nearly all of propolis (50%) is resin. Resin is collected from bushes, bark, and leaf buds from conifers, poplars, birches, willows, and native vegetation. Vegetation secrete resin to guard younger leaf buds from an infection from pathogens and to maintain herbivores at bay. 

Honey bees acquire this resin on heat days. After biting a bit of resin off of the plant, she chews the resin to melt it additional after which locations the resin within the pollen baskets on her legs to take again to the colony. Again on the colony, her sisters take away the resin from her pollen baskets and mix the resin with abdomen enzymes and different substances to create propolis. The propolis is then used to seal cracks and create a propolis envelope. 

The typical honey bee colony produces round 150–200 g of propolis per 12 months. 

Propolis’s Wealthy Historical past

Propolis has been used as drugs for hundreds of years, and information present that it was utilized by historical Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Jews, and Greeks (Kuropatnicki et al., 2013).

The traditional Jews known as propolis tzori and used it as drugs. Tzori is talked about many occasions within the Outdated Testomony and is sort of indistinguishable from Balm of Gilead. 

The Bible explains that the Balm of Gilead was a present from the Queen of Sheba given to King Solomon. This balm was produced from numerous resins from poplar bushes. The Balm of Gilead was additionally one of many particular incense used twice each day within the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. There may be additionally a Balm of Gilead tree, or Balsam Poplar, that’s well-known for its resinous buds which have therapeutic properties. 

Historical Greeks created a fragrance known as polyanthus that utilized propolis. Hippocrates is alleged to have used propolis to remedy wounds and ulcers. Pliny the Elder, a well-known Roman, reported that propolis cured many illnesses. 

Well being Advantages of Propolis

A number of research have evaluated the compounds of propolis and their efficacy in treating numerous well being points. 

  • Antibacterial- efficient towards Enterococcus spp., Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus
  • Antifungal- propolis is efficient towards a number of fungi together with a number of Candida spp.
  • Antitumoral- Parts in propolis corresponding to caffeic acid phenethyl ester and artepillin C had been discovered to cease the unfold and even destroy tumor cells.
  • Antiprotozoal- propolis has been discovered to be efficient towards giardiasis, Chagas illness, leishmaniasis, trichomoniasis, and toxoplasmosis.
  • Anti-inflammatory- flavonoids in propolis have anti-inflammatory properties. These had been discovered to enhance arthritic irritation in rodent research.
  • Hepatoprotective- propolis can enhance antioxidant exercise towards mercury-induced toxicity and liver injury from acetaminophen use. 
  • Antioxidant- Aqueous propolis extracts defend the physique from and take away free radicals because of the excessive polyphenol contents.
  • Antiviral- Propolis prevents viruses from coming into the cells and prevents viral replication. Propolis has been proven to be efficient towards genital herpes an infection (HSV-2), herpes simplex virus (sort 1), and influenza virus A1 Hong Kong (H3N2).
  • Anticancer- Propolis accommodates flavonoids, that are efficient towards cancers. Propolis has been proven to cease breast cancers, lung most cancers, oral most cancers, esophagus, abdomen, colorectal, prostate, and pores and skin most cancers.
  • Oral well being– Propolis ethanolic extracts can lower the micro organism within the mouth, lower gum irritation, and restore dental pulp. 
  • Wound therapeutic– Propolis has the flexibility to restore tissues and forestall wound infections. 

How To Receive Propolis

If you’re a beekeeper, you might be most likely already very aware of propolis. Throughout your inspections, propolis may be scraped off woodenware and saved for later use. A propolis entice may also be added below the inside cowl. 

If you’re not a beekeeper, propolis may be obtained out of your native beekeeper. To discover a beekeeper, attempt your Farmers Market, or attain out to your nearest Beekeeping Club. If you’re nonetheless unsuccessful, on-line outlets and Etsy could also be an choice. Propolis extracts are additionally obtainable at well being meals shops. 

You may also buy toothpaste and mouthwash that include propolis extract. 

How To Use Propolis

Propolis tinctures may be made by dissolving propolis in clear grain alcohol (corresponding to 75+ proof vodka or Everclear).  Merely mix two components propolis (by weight) to 9 components grain alcohol in a glass jar. Put the lid on and shake, then retailer the jar in a darkish place. Shake the jar just a few occasions a day for 2 weeks. After two weeks, pressure the combination with a espresso filter and retailer the completed tincture in a darkish place. 

The propolis tincture may be taken by mouth, added to mouthwash, utilized to wounds or bandages, utilized to chilly sores, and added to scorching tea for sore throat aid. 

Propolis Security

Don’t use propolis if you happen to take blood thinners, as propolis can enhance the danger of bleeding (Ohkura et al,. 2020)

Cease propolis a minimum of two weeks earlier than any deliberate surgical procedure as it will possibly gradual blood clotting. 

Propolis shouldn’t be utilized by these with a recognized allergy to bee stings, beeswax, or pollen.  

About The Creator

Nicole Gennetta is a Grasp Beekeeper (Cornell College), Licensed Colorado Grasp Gardener, and Paramedic in Southern Colorado. She has a ardour for studying and educating others. Nicole can be the founding father of Heritage Acres Market and the Backyard Bounty podcast, which gives useful data for brand new and aspiring pastime farmers.


Watch Nicole Gennetta of Heritage Acres Market and Heather Irvine of Natural Academy speak about herbalism, bees, and herbs you may develop which are good for animals and good for us too of their video interview on YouTube or on Nicole’s personal Backyard Bounty podcast! 

Bee Propolis: The Honey Bee's Secret To Hive Health | Herbal Academy | Honey bees create delicious honey and beautiful wax, but they also make a fabulous substance called bee propolis. Learn about it here!


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