Propolis is one of the natural substances, the creation of which has so far not been chemically profitable to imitate. The complex process that turns various herbal ingredients into a brittle, amorphous putty substance takes place in the beehive to the exclusion of the public. Resin-like substances, which bees prefer to collect on trees, form the basis of the powerful recipe.
Especially in the late year, when the hive has to be closed for winter rest, birch, alder, spruce and other native tree species provide bud and wound secretions that have proven themselves in the fight for optimal hygiene. With the help of their chewing tools, the bees add wax, pollen, essential oils and saliva to the base material. Thoroughly mixed, the “bee glue” then wanders into cracks and joints, where it inhibits or kills annoying microorganisms in their growth.
The raw propolis contains about 55% pollen balm and natural resins and is particularly rich in flavonoids. These so-called secondary plant substances made a name for themselves early on in pharmacy and cosmetics, so it's no wonder that beekeepers are interested in the 50 to 100 grams of propolis that a bee colony produces on average each year.
Humans make use of the bees' secret weapon in many ways and make their own propolis containers in the form of ointments, tinctures or powders. The harvest of the bee resin turns out to be laborious at first glance. However, experienced beekeepers have developed a process with which the human propolis production can be optimized. If you put fine-meshed grids in the beehive in late summer, the little alchemists also reliably gelatinize these systemic gaps with the valuable basic substance.
All information about propolis can be found in our Propolis Lexicon.