Trees produce resins and gums to protect themselves against insect or fungi attacks. Bees are ingenious because they scrap the sticky resins and gums then add wax and some saliva turning into an amazing product called propolis. They carry it in their pollen sacks, on the back of their legs, and take it back to the hive. Propolis mаkes аn excellent wаterproof fіlm whіch аlso hаs аntіbаcterіаl аnd аntіfungаl propertіes.The colour varies, depending on it's source, it can be gray, tans, shades of brown or nearly black.
Bees use Propolis in the Hive to
- block up holes and cracks
- as an antiseptic
- guard the hive against disease
- polish the inside of the brood cells
- wrap dead insects and animals, dead mice can be found completely sealed in propolis like a mummy
- smear it on rough places in the hive to make it easier for them to move around and protect their delicate wings
- reduce the size of the entrance to the hive
Bee propolis has been used for centuries for healing, it invigorates the immune system and is highly effective at fighting infection and viruses. It has proven remarkably successful again influenza viruses, when taken before the virus takes hold. It is well known for use in oral hygiene and healing of mouth complaints (including ulcers). A few years ago we meet an elderly beekeeper in Canada who was proud he still had all his teeth and his teeth and gums were very healthy. He put it down to adding a couple of drops of propolis tincture in his coffee every morning! It would be great for a mouth wash.
Because of it's powerful antiseptic qualities propolis is perfect for healing cuts, sore, etc and has been reported to have a dramatic effect on cold sores and shingles.
Propolis is available in many forms these days, it can be found in a tincture, creams / balms, lozenges, toothpaste, mouth sprays, etc. Keep them in your cupboard as a safe and effective healer, germ-buster and rapid rescue treatment for all different types of skin tissue, whether inside or outside the body.
Aren't they amazing creatures!
Here's some photos.
Bee with propolis in it's pollen sacks
Bee working the propolis in the hive