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.
- Topical applications
- Natural healthcare products
- 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.