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Thread: Desert Propolis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Desert Propolis

    Since I've been beekeeping here in the Marana/Tucson area of Southern Arizona (going on my third decade, now) I've noticed the bees bring in very little propolis, compared to the amounts I'm used to seeing in many other parts of the United States. Also, it appears, no matter what time of year, to be virtually the same. It has a greenish-brown color, is flexible and sticky when warm, and hard and brittle when cold. And the most interesting thing, to me, about this propolis, is that it has a quite appealing fragrance, reminiscent of Pumpkin Pie Spice.

    I was wondering if there are any beekeepers, here, who are familiar with this variety of propolis, and is they know of the source for this propolis.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,762

    Default Re: Desert Propolis

    I think that the color of your propolis is very common in most areas of the country, not just yours. My immediate area is different though, my propolis is a brownish orange with some red in it, its that color when collected all season long. I know a beekeeper about an hour from me and his propolis is more like your color. I live right along the great lakes and there are lots of swampy areas, marshes, wetlands around me, so maybe its the type of trees that grow here I don't know. The smell of my propolis is similar to what you said, a very appealing smell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Desert Propolis

    I've tasted the propolis around Tuscan, and it's spicy tasting compared to propolis here. I don't know for sure the source.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,318

    Default Re: Desert Propolis

    Ours here in the NM mountains seems to be a bright orange - almost bright red color. It does have a distinctive smell, but not quite as you describe. The desert propolis is much darker, more brown. i have not noticed a smell, but I am sure there is one.

    Alot of the wildish bees I keep in the mountains here make copious amounts of the red variety.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Desert Propolis

    Thanks to those who responded - several interesting ideas.

    I wonder which desert plant(s) are the source of my propolis, I'm hoping the creosote bush is one of them, though I do not know. The creosote bush is very pungent, though its fragrance is not at all like the propolis.

    I also regret that the bees seem to collect very meager amounts of this propolis - I'm thinking of trying one of those propolis traps, in an attempt to get more of this propolis.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,318

    Default Re: Desert Propolis

    You can come scrape it from my mountain hives - but it is the red kind.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

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