PROPOLIS AN ALTERNATIVE INCOME FOR BEEKEEPERS

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Kerry Ferguson from Botanical Innovations gave a talk to the Sydney Branch of the Ameteur Beekeepers Association about Propolis and the potential of propolis production for beekeepers. https://www.beekeepers.asn.au/

WHAT IS PROPOLIS

  • Propolis or bee glue used to seal holes, line the internal walls of bee hives and to protect the entrance from intruders.
  • Propolis means defence of the city from the Greek words meaning pro meaning in front of and polis meaning city.
  • Propolis has 2 function
  •          Keep the bee hive safe
  •          Defence against pathogens and parasites

WHAT  BEES COLLECT PROPOLIS

  • Apis mellifera caucasica is known a high collection of propolis
  • Apis mellifera use propolis to different extents
  • Apis cerana (the Asian hive been do not use propolis)

HOW DO YOU HARVEST PROPOLIS

To encourage bees to produce conveniently sized propolis, place a perforated, plastic grid in the hive.

  • Place matts inside the hives
  • The bees will seal up the slots with propolis.
  • Take out the grid and put it in a freezer. When cold enough flexing the sheet will cause the propolis pieces to drop out.

Propolis is a multi billion dollar industry

Major producers: China, Brazil, Russia, Bulgaria, Kenya

WHAT IS PROPOLIS USED FOR

A Potted History:

  • Egyptians used propolis to embalm cadavers
  • Incas used it an antipyretic agent
  • Greeks and Roman physicians used it as a mouth disinfectant, antiseptic and healing product in wound treatment.
  • Propolis was listed as an official drug in the London pharmacopeia in 17th Century.
  • In the Second World War was used in Soviet clinics for tuberculosis treatment.
  • In the Balkin states was used to treat wounds, burns, sore throat and stomach ulcer.
  • The first scientific works with propolis was published in 1908.

Today:

  • Topical applications
  • Natural healthcare products
  • Cosmetics
  • Formulations for upper respiratory tract infections, common cold and flu like infections
  • Dermatological preparations for wound healing, treatment of burns, acne, herpes.
  • Ingredient in mouthwashes and toothpastes.

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