Propolis has many names in the vernacular, some of which take up the chemical-physical characteristics of this extraordinary natural substance under the keyword "resin". Strictly speaking, bee glue belongs at best to the substance class of resins in the broadest sense, but some properties of the viscous mass definitely justify the extensive assignment to this inhomogeneous group of substances.
The similarity to a natural resin of vegetable or animal origin is evident both in its external appearance and in its functionality. In its raw form, the raw propolis is visually a tough, brownish-yellow mass that does not dissolve very well in water. In the beehive, the beehive fulfills a similar task to the tree resin on trees. It seals holes and joints through which pests could penetrate the building. The same is done by the amorphous wound secretion that a tree produces when the bark and the underlying tissue have been injured. The propolis ultimately serves the bees - just like the resin does the tree - as a kind of plaster that reliably protects wounds and cracks from further contamination and pathogens. The brownish-yellowish color of the propolis also contributed to the naming.
Chemically, bee resin is a heterogeneous mixture of substances that bees obtain from buds, real resins, wax, bits of bark and pollen. With the help of their saliva, the little builders break down these components into a viscous mass that can be easily shaped and processed on site. Humans use bee resin for the production of granules, powders, extracts and tinctures. In this form, the bee putty can be used internally as well as externally.
All information about propolis can be found in our Propolis Lexicon.
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