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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    203

    Default Question and Definition of Propolis

    I am having a debate with another bee dork about propolis and its definition. I think that propolis is made by the bees by combining tree resin, pollen, wax and enzymes. The other dork thinks that propolis describes the initial sap or resin of plants and is LATER combined to make a substance also referred to as propolis. Is the term propolis refering to the product made by bees or is it the substance colleted by the bees? (or both?)
    Beekeeping: "Know the Rules and Learn the Art"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,096

    Default Re: Question and Definition of Propolis

    "bee dork"?? "dork"? What's up with that?

    Propolis is a complex resinous hive product and mixture of wax, sugars and plant exudates collected by bees from certain plant sources in the neighborhood. More than 300 constituents have been identified in different propolis samples (Banskota et al., 2001). In general, propolis composition is directly related to that of bud exudates collected by bees from various trees: .......

    http://www.znaturforsch.com/ac/v57c/s57c0905.pdf
    The study is primarily comparing propolis from two different regions in Turkey. If you click the link, and review the table comparing the two, the most striking thing is how different the two propolis varieties are from each other.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Question and Definition of Propolis

    Jeff,

    After taking way too many botany, horticulture, etc. classes I never heard the term propolis used, never.

    I looked up the definition of propolis on the great authoritative resource wikipedia and the definition there could lead one to believe that bees collect propolis from plants.

    I think a better way to describe it is that bees collect the raw materials from plants and then make it in the hive. The composition of propolis is dependant on local plant species and the time of the year it is made.

    Tom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Question and Definition of Propolis

    Bee dork is correct from everything I've read.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Question and Definition of Propolis

    You may be more right Jeff G, and I didn't know this myself although I assumed the plant resin is mixed with other substances [like wax] from the bees. D. Sammataro says that house bees need to pull off the the resin from the foragers and then mix it [40-60%] with beeswax and a third, "unkown" substance.

    >Bees collect tree resin for propolis, just as they collect pollen and honey for food. Although it is still a matter of debate, research indicates that the chemical structure of resin is altered by the bees secretions during the collection process. Bees work the resin with their front legs, while adding saliva and beeswax to the mixture. The saliva and other secretions are catalysts for biochemical changes within the propolis. The resin is passed to their back legs for storage in their pollen sacs. Bees then transport the resin back to the hive, where it is stored or used.>-->http://www.ccpollen.com/bee-propolis-story.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Question and Definition of Propolis

    propolis is the sticky stuff bees use to seal and glue things together in the hive. It's made from whatever the bees collect -- plant resins, dust, beeswax, who knows. It appears to be mostly plant resins, but just exactly what will be determined by what the bees find, and will vary from hive to hive.

    It's not propolis until the bees stick it to something in the hive.

    Peter

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