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How to collect and use propolis

Propolis is an often unrecognized hive product with multiple benefits. Do you know how to collect it and use it. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about propolis.

What is Propolis?

Propolis is a natural product, used by bees to seal the hive. The smallest gap is filled with propolis which hardens as it dries. Propolis is produced from resins from different trees such as pines, firs, poplars, laurels ...

The bees transport the propolis to the hive where it is used immediately without being stored. It is the mason bees which by mixing it with wax and secretions will apply it for clogging. With time, propolis hardens.
To this clogging action is added a disinfectant action within the hive.

The virtues of propolis

As already mentioned, propolis disinfects and purifies the environment of the colony. If there is a foreign body in the hive that the bees cannot evacuate, they will surround it with propolis to avoid infection. A mouse can thus be literally mummified and stay a whole winter in the hive without contaminating the colony. Propolis is also antiseptic.

How to collect it?

By scratching

Propolis can be collected by scraping the edges of the hive. The propolis thus obtained is of poor quality because it is contaminated by various waste and by pieces of wood torn from the hive.

On a plastic grid

This second method is preferable. There are plastic grids that bees cannot pass through. You place this grid above the colony in place of the frame cover. The bees will be bothered by the slight current of air thus produced and will clog the grid with propolis.

Once the grid is well sealed, you remove it and replace it with the frame cover. Place the grid in the freezer for a few hours. When you take it out of the freezer, the propolis will be brittle and easy to break up. You will have thus obtained a pure propolis of any impurity.

The ideal time to complete the grid placement is after the supers have been removed.

Certain colonies produce propolis more than others, it is of course on those that it is better to collect propolis.

The preparation of propolis

The preparation is quite simple to do. Place the propolis in a small container and cover it with 70 degree alcohol.

Let the propolis soak in alcohol for a month, stirring the bottle every day.

After a month, filter the product. The liquid part is the tincture that you will use as is. Store it away from light. Propolis residues can be mixed into a cream.

You can also make a homemade propolis infused oil, you'll find in this article how to do it:
Easy way to make a bio propolis infused oil

Using propolis well

Propolis tincture can be used as it is externally on wounds, burns or pimples.

You can also use it internally on canker sores or in mouth injuries.