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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    UK
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    2

    Default Raw propolis quality question

    Hello I'm new here and this is my first post.

    Recently I purchased raw propolis from Bulgaria which came in the form of waxy slicks. Thing is I have never used raw propolis before and was surprised how waxy it is. I'm not sure this stuff is even digestible.

    I broke off a small bit of the end of one stick and tried to eat it, basically it was very chewy and stuck to my teeth leaving yellow bees was coating on my teeth. What I'm wondering is if I have been sold poor quality propolis (bulked up by mixing it with bees wax) or is this typical?
    How would you suggest testing the quality of propollis and is it common to have propolis in the form of waxy sticks or is it usually not waxy enough to role into sticks?

    I purchased quite a bit so I think I will need to remove the wax content to make this stuff even usable.

    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Winter Park, Florida
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Raw propolis quality question

    I have collected many varieties of propolis from my hives. Some of it was very firm, almost like hardened plastic. Some of it was very soft like taffy. I think that it can very greatly depending on the type of bee, the weather conditions, the age of the propolis, and the type of trees it is being collected from. If it is soft it should also be rather sticky. Beeswax is not sticky. Beeswax would also burn more readily than propolis. So perhaps you can test it this way. Hope this helps!


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Raw propolis quality question

    You could dissolve the propolis in alcohol and strain out any wax or impurities.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Raw propolis quality question

    The propolis my hives gather varies from one hive to the next that's literally 1 foot away. One hive's propolis will be dark, shiny and hard while the one right next to it seems much lighter in color and more like taffy. It is completely water proof so your saliva can't really do much to it either which is why it seems waxy to chew on. Dissolving it using a high proof liquor is exactly how making a tincture is done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Raw propolis quality question

    Quote Originally Posted by dansk View Post
    I have collected many varieties of propolis from my hives. Some of it was very firm, almost like hardened plastic. Some of it was very soft like taffy. I think that it can very greatly depending on the type of bee, the weather conditions, the age of the propolis, and the type of trees it is being collected from. If it is soft it should also be rather sticky. Beeswax is not sticky. Beeswax would also burn more readily than propolis. So perhaps you can test it this way. Hope this helps!


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    Hi, I tried putting the end of one of these sticks over the cooker burner, it turned dark brown and started to drip like wax would. I'm convinced that this propolis has a high wax content. I suspect that the propolis was bulked up by adding extra bees was to it. I have read about people eating raw propolis but there is no way a human could digest this stuff. Incidentally the propolis is a Olive green/brown colour but you can clearly see yellow (bees wax?) in there too, in texture it is like soft toffee without the stickiness.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Raw propolis quality question

    You're probably right. But propolis is mostly resins so it wouldn't surprise me at all if it drips like wax when heated. Is it sticky if you just warm it up a little? The stickiness part is the sign that it's propolis. In the summer when it's warm it sticks to *everything*. Also the smell. Bees wax has a fairly mild smell, propolis I think is comparatively quite strong.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,044

    Default Re: Raw propolis quality question

    It should smell herbal or like tree sap also.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,544

    Default Re: Raw propolis quality question

    Waxy sticks - is exact form of propolis we have in Russia. It is NORMAL. It does contain some wax but mainly it should be propolis. Not honest people added too much wax to it - may be that is your case.

    It is not for eating! "Proper" propolis stick may be cut by knife and it creates a reasonably clean cut. You made a tincture from it. Note: a tincture must be something less than 10% propolis and has a brownish color, not black. There, in US people sell something, which is difficult to call propolis - literally black and smells like asphalt (may be asphalt?). Undiluted tincture you may use only externally - for minor cuts, burns, any skin erosion etc. You could add a few drops of tincture in vodka and drink it for your health.

    But I agree that propolis quality is different in different areas.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Creston bc canada
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Raw propolis quality question

    My bees built a large wall of propolis just inside of the entrance , as it got warmer , I scraped it out to allow for more ventilation.

    It was very strong(but nice) smelling , orage/brown , I tried to make a ticture by dissolving in alcohol , but a lot of it wouldn't dissolve , I think it contained a lot of wax as well , so perhaps that's just normal.

    There must be some way that commercial producers purify it further.

    I found this on wiki:

    In order to increase propolis production 3-4 times and automate its gathering it would be best to use special two layer covers made of Capron network with 4x4mm openings. In spring they are put above the nest on the frame top bars bellow the isolating material. During hive inspection these covers are turned 90 degrees in the direction of the hive entrance. They are not left in the hive during winter to avoid their contamination with bee excrement and wax.

    The propolized covers are taken out in autumn when bee colonies are preparing for winter. Propolis is removed mechanically or by extracting. In the first case covers are frozen and then modified on an electrical device SIP-II. A revolving shaft with cogs grinds the hardened propolis while a smooth shaft pushes the cover towards the working shaft using a string. In this process propolis is roughly and finely cleansed.

    Using centrifugal extracting machine CLK-1 propolis pieces are grinded to powder and at the same time cleansed from impurities which cannot occupy more than 20% in propolis ready for use. In retail trade propolis powder is measured in amounts from 25 to 100g and pressed in briquettes using OKS-030 or P-6324 pressing machine with 25000kg force. Propolis powder is previously kept about 4 hours on room temperature.

    Propolis should not be warmed, washed or melted since as a result it loses a part of its characteristics. It is kept in a dark place in polyethylene bags. Propolis is very stable matter, so it can safely be used 10 years from the day of obtaining.

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