How do bees produce and use propolis?
Since propolis is putty resin, the bees need trees to collect or produce propolis. Resin is the main component of propolis and the bees collect the resin from the trees and first salivate it. Preferred tree species are fir, filth, elm, chestnut, fruit trees, as well as beech, ash or poplar. The resin is transported in the same way as with pollen. The resin is stowed and transported in the pollen pants on the hind legs. These tiny, sticky lumps of resin can weigh from 10 grams and are passed from the forager bee to the hive bee at the beehive. There is a strict division of labor.
The hive bee now takes the lump of resin, to which pollen from flowers and bushes is already sticking, and adds your body's own substances. The mass is then kneaded and processed, i.e. cracks and joints in the beehive are usually "puttied" with it. While still soft, the resin hardens and the beehive is antiseptically sealed and the bees and offspring are protected from viruses and germs.
But not only that: the temperature in the beehive is also regulated by propolis.
The inside of the beehive and its inhabitants form a sensitive construct and must be protected from both heat and cold. The inside of the beehive is ideally at a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. If it is too warm, the honeycombs melt and the bees stick to the honey. Conversely, if it is too cold, there is a risk that the offspring will die or the brood will develop too slowly. The ideal temperature for the brood is 36 degrees Celsius. Even small downward deviations slow down the development of the small bees and even have a negative impact on their intelligence. Researchers have found that bees that developed more slowly due to lower temperatures were also less able to learn than normally developed bees. And even a temperature fluctuation of just 1 degree Celsius has a direct effect on the size of the bees' bodies and wings. It can therefore be said that propolis is one of the most important bee products for the continued existence of a bee colony.
You can find all information about the ingredients and mode of action of propolis in our Blog.