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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    1,914

    Default Propolis Traps and Trapping

    When is the best time of year to put on propolis traps?

    I have the West (I think) SHB traps which sit on the bottom board. I thought I could take off the grill and use it for a propolis trap on top of the hive. It would need to be supported, otherwise it sits on the top bars and doesn't reach fully to the edges of the hive.

    Anyone tried this or know about propolis trapping?
    WayaCoyote

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
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    1,020

    Default

    I trapped propolis using the flexible black plastic traps that you freeze and a weird insert that uses blue plastic that lets in light. The insert top one collected a very thin layer of propolis but I was glad I did not pay for it - I'd never get enough to make money off that little. The black plastic ones collected a lot of propolis. You freeze them and then the propolis is easier to remove. It did not (in my experience) "snap right off". I took the hive tool and scraped it off.

    Oh, and don't let your daughter take a frozen trap out of the freezer and put it on the deck.

    Oh, and if you do let your daughter lay it on the deck, keep the cat from laying on the nice, sun warmed propolis trap.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
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    272

    Default

    Anyone know where to get the ones in this video?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwEAOSA6m_I

    I like how they are way more flexible than the stiff black ones you get in the U.S. I have two of the type xC0000005 is talking about but want to order a whole lot more. I'd rather get the more flexible type you can roll and beat against the wall of a deep freezer.
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default

    I think you could almost use something like window screen material. Try it out and let me know

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clearwater, Florida, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Durandal View Post
    Anyone know where to get the ones in this video?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwEAOSA6m_I

    I like how they are way more flexible than the stiff black ones you get in the U.S. I have two of the type xC0000005 is talking about but want to order a whole lot more. I'd rather get the more flexible type you can roll and beat against the wall of a deep freezer.
    Hey Richard, I went to your site to see any further propolis picture updates but didn't see any. How long did it take to fill up one of those hard plastic propolis traps? Do you have pics? Did you locate the flexibl ones like in the video?

    thanks,
    Musashi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
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    272

    Default

    Yeah, that was a photo project that cut because of time and forgetting to take about five pictures to show how they filled up the screen.

    From my experience with putting them on three hives (which is not much experience) and talking with others I have come to the conclusion that:

    A) All Colonies fill the screens differently (it is not race specific, though I suppose it could be a trait).

    B) Colonies that produce enough to fill the screen also produce honey.

    C) Most colonies will never fill the screen completely (I think this may be their own need to maintain a flow of air if possible in through the colony... this is merely an opinion based on limited experience).

    D) When placed on my prolific colony (prolific in terms of propolis collection and use) raising the lid on both sides so it is not making contact using shims along the front and rear edges accelerated the trapping by a couple days.

    F) Even after a couple days in sub freezing temperatures one two of my hives have resealed themselves, showing they are capable of reworking and using the stuff even when it is cold and there is no sap flow.

    E) The three trappings I did collected enough propolis to fill an 8oz jam jar.

    I do not have a small scale so I have been unable to measure the actual weight.

    Because I am dealing with limited post harvest space, I simply flex my screens, once frozen, in a white or clear garbage bag and then place back in freezer. After a couple hours I shake the bag and pour its contents into a jar.

    I am going to try the a synthetic screen door material next year, but It think the fine diameter of the weave threads are going to prevent the propolis from simply rolling off once its frozen. As soon as you use your hive tool on it, you are decreasing any profit you get from the stuff. You want to be able to do it fast and the same way each time. THus a thicker material that they plug (rather than wrapping around like on a thin mesh would be better, that way you can roll it up and and flex it our rather than having to chip it off.

    Again, I'm new to this and sort of just sharing what I experienced and what I think. This may be...or not...similar to what others have experienced.

    Here are some photos:

    Close up
    http://i353.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/P1020011.jpg

    This is a pic of my shims (just entrance reducers). Notice how they fill up the space above the gaps in the frames but not above the frames? Is this normal for others? I wonder if a larger space would help that.
    http://i353.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/P1020010.jpg

    This is about when I harvest it. I notice that it changes very little every time once it reaches this level of propolis coverage.
    http://i353.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/P1050486.jpg
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
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    272

    Default

    Here is a photo I took after tracking down a local bee tree.

    http://i353.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/P1050645.jpg

    Notice the heavy propolizing at the top of the entrance.

    http://i353.photobucket.com/albums/r...d/P1050646.jpg
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    1,914

    Default

    Do you leave these on from spring til fall?
    When is the best time of year to use them?
    How long do you leave it on before you remove and freeze?

    I guess you sell it as a solid?

    Thanks
    WayaCoyote

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clearwater, Florida, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Richard,

    Thanks a ton for the follow up information. By the way, your farm looks like bucolic nirvana. I lived in the Cincinnati area for two years and it is very pretty once you get outta town! I'm brown and yellow all over with jealousy. Well, not in the middle of Winter but you get the idea lol. ;-)

    Your observations are extremely valuable as there is scant information online about propolis harvesting and certainly less about how it impacts the bee's business.

    I've been researching it a bit and found on many Japanese website that Brazilian propolis goes for primo bucks in capsule form over there. Like 80 bucks for a middlin size bottle. Of course they have about 1/100th of the lawyer population over there so their lawsuit scene from someone having a reaction to the stuff is no doubt very different. Interestingly, Brazil has long had a large Japanese expatriat community. They are openly praising the Africanized honey bees for making durn good propolis. I looked that up and obviously there are some crazy plants in the Amazon region which do or should produce some potent anti-viral\bacterial resins. This claimed increased potency is why the stuff can command such premium prices. Of course then when I read further, you find that like honey, no hive produces exactly the same stuff and it's seasonal based on what is blooming or in the area for the bees to harvest.

    I have a new wrinkle in that I'm starting to really really like the idea of harvesting propolis and pollen to increase my diversification of products. This is hardly anything new but for me it stems from the fact that I'm fighting hard the urge to produce honey by the lb vs by by the healthy cupful. That is I'm trying hard to use at little chemicals as possible.

    Speaking of chemicals, amazon or no, the quality control of the hives in xyz place producing "special" medicinal propolis can have as much or not more chemicals to keep the hives going. Additionally, if local honey is sold as a natural allergy resistence "medicine' then shouldn't propolis have some similar regional superiority. I think in this case the taste of honey is influenced by the different kinds of flowers, but the different plants for propolis have been medically determined to have vastly different antibiotic properties. Nonetheless, some local is best marketing is reasonable if a stretch.

    I've been extremely concerned about taking harvested propolis and turning it into any product that would be used on or in the human body. Just sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. I guess you could say the same thing about honey though. Still it's like harvesting beeswax from your hive and ONLY selling it as cakes or bulk, never receiving the fun and profit from turning it into candles etc. Any ideas on the legal ramifications of selling a medicinal tincture or salve?

    The one product I feel fully confident in producing and selling myself is the propolis wood varnish. I've never made any but seems straightforward. The problem is here are a LOT more people who would like to buy nature's natural antibiotic in lozenge form, drops or in salve than would buy wood varnish. Now maybe I'm not hanging out with the right crowd and the wood varnish would sell like hot cakes.

    Lastly, my desire to trap for some pollen seems at odds with my desire to make the bees hang a shingle full of propolis for me. I suppose I could try both concurrently and see if they still do their honey and comb producing thing. I read that propolis gathering was highest in the late summer autumn timeframe. I would imagine that is too large a generalization as if they harvest the intial propolis material from plants then it must be based on the local weather and blooming cycles.

    I did find two different flexible (I think) propolis traps. I'll include the links here, the second one is cheaper and looks just as good. Any feedback on these would be appreciated as well!
    Thanks,
    Musashi

    http://www.blossomland.com/hd370.html
    http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=1716

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
    Posts
    272

    Default

    WayaCoyote

    I harvested from three colonies and one of those twice. I had two harvests off that one colony with the screen sitting on the colony for 4 weeks at a time. I probably could have left in there for less considering the lack of change after the third week.

    Like I said, first time for me. New to beekeeping and first time harvesting propolis. I have yet to sell any. My goal is to wholesale it and let the buyer do with it as they please. When I find a way to sell it in the raw I'll let you know (or maybe someone else here can).

    Musashi

    Both those screens are the similar to what I used. Semi-flexible injection molded plastic that will break/snap right out of the freezer if handled roughly. I need something that can be rolled up like a newspaper (well, like in the video) so I can beat it and flex it quickly without doing damage to it.
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clearwater, Florida, USA
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    128

    Default

    Both those screens are to what I used. Semi-flexible injection molded plastic that will break/snap right out of the freezer if handled roughly. I need something that can be rolled up like a newspaper (well, like in the video) so I can beat it and flex it quickly without doing damage to it.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, duh, I didn't read closely enough. I read that it was "flexible". That only means that you can twist it. I have one of these things too already, a black one. Well it figures it wasn't going to be that easy to find one of the kind that kind roll up. Those seem superior to me as well. I'll keep looking and let ya know and please do the same!
    Musashi
    Last edited by Musashi; 12-10-2008 at 09:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clearwater, Florida, USA
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    128

    Default

    I'm trying to figure out what exactly can I use to make the telescoping cover be high enough to let in light but keep out rain.

    What are you all using to prop it open and exactly how?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
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    272

    Default

    I use 2 3/4 entrance reducer sized sticks (entrance reducers work well and that is what used the first time). I put one in the front and in the back directly on top of the screen.

    In 2009 I am going to try using a shim under the screen to allow for more bee space directly underneath the screen so they can fill in more. When placed directly on top of the super or hive box I have noticed that they do not fill in directly above the frames.

    My first attempt next year will be using synthetic screen door mesh. I think I'll start placing them on in March.

    That all depends on how many survivors I have. My main project is to do splits this year.
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clearwater, Florida, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Well, maybe it's my telescoping covers, because an entrance reducers had no impact on lifting the cover up high enough to do any good. I figure there must be a visible crack from top of propolils trap to bottom of telescoping cover. It's almost like I need a 2X4 to lift it that high. I think you must have a migratory cover right? I have telescoping covers from Rossman in GA. They are large fit over the entire hive on all four sides. I also have some migratory covers that are only closed in on two sides and don't come down the sides nearly as far. Those would work. Just curious what kind and size cover you're using if those entrance reducers lifted the cover off enough to let in light. It sure isn't high enough with the telescoping covers I have from Rossman.


    I agree about a shim Richard. I have some Imirie shims that I've been thinking I'd add immediately under the propolis trap to give it even more space for the bees to think something should be done about.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
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    272

    Default

    The goal is not to open up the hive to sunlight. The hives I am using for this project all have telescoping lids. The goal is to maximize the air flow.

    My telescoping lid is lifted 3/4" off the top of the hive allowing for 360 degree air flow.
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clearwater, Florida, USA
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    128

    Default

    Hmmm...I thought the top had to be opened enough for the bees to see some sunlight creep in to make them want to propolize the trap?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    945

    Default

    That youtube video was interesting. I would guess that net-like material was some sort of silicone kind of like those silpat sheets you for baking. They are extremely durable and nothing sticks to it. It would also stay flexible at cold temperatures. I would love to find out what it is.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Propolis Trap

    I think you have the trap upside down. You want to have the smooth face of the trap up and away from brood or honey super.
    Cover just as you have it with a shim to let a little light in.


    Pure - Propolis is a very valuable supplement for chemotherapy patients.



    Cheers
    Stephen
    StephensApiary.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    Posts
    419

    Default

    I wondered about the plastic material that they use for latch hook rugs.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default

    What do you do with the propolis after you have collected it?

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