What is Propolis?
Propolis originates from the sap of coniferous trees. Worker Bees collect the resin from the trees and carry it to the hive on their legs where other bees assist in removing beads of it from the worker bees legs because it is too sticky to perform this task as a solo job. The bees then combine this resin with honey, wax and stomach enzymes to convert this resin into "bee glue" or sealant in the hive of which we call Propolis. Propolis is used to seal cracks and patch up holes to protect the hive from weather and outside threats.
Honey bees keep a very controlled environment inside the hive, and this is part of what makes honey and its moisture content so specific before the bees cap the honey with wax creating honey comb at about 17-18% moisture. At this moisture content, the honey will never ferment or expire.
Honey Bees also use Propolis to fight off harmful pathogens, bacteria and fungus with its antimicrobial properties making it known in the community as "Bee Penicillin". The properties of propolis are extremely valuable in the health and wound care community. Propolis contains a compound called pinocembrin which is a flavonoid with antifungal properties. Propolis also has anti inflammatory characteristics and can be found in several medical bandages and creams. Propolis has many topical and digestive benefits. It is found in raw honey and contributes to the nutritional benefits of eating raw unprocessed and unheated honey. Some people have made tinctures from raw propolis known to help with internal mouth sores, use as a mouthwash and also been used to treat hot flashes due to menopause. The benefits of raw propolis are a great alternative for those seeking natural remedy solutions in their healthcare.
Beez’ Products use honey in most of the recipes however two products have a propolis infused oil made from scratch creating an ultra dose of propolis for its healing benefits. This infused oil is found in our Lavender Propolis Roll On and Beez’ Body Butter - Propolis Lavender and can be purchased at Beez’ Online Shop or Retail Location in Washingtonville NY.
Benefits or Propolis
- Aids in healing minor burns and cuts
-Natural sealant for skin to retain moisture
-Reduce redness of skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties
-Helps fight acne due to its anti-microbial properties
-Contains pinocembrin, a flavonoid that acts as an antifungal.
How is Propolis Harvested?
Propolis is a sticky substance and is not always a smooth material to harvest. Beekeepers will often utilize a special screen that is used in place of a top cover temporarily. The bees fill in these holes with Propolis because it is in their nature to seal up unwanted openings. In fact Bees have a preferred space allotment of which they call "Bee Space" that entails about 3/8 of an inch and will often fill in spaces of the hive that are larger than 3/8 inch with Propolis and honeycomb. After this frame is full, the beekeeper can remove and freeze this screen. Make sure to replace the screen with a top cover, as the bees need to be secure and dry. After the screen has frozen, extract the Propolis like ice cubes by twisting the screen so shards of Propolis come to.