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  1. #1
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    Default Propolis envelope techniques?

    So tonight I got to hear Marla Spivak speak and she talked about some experiments they did with either painting propolis on the inside of hives or lining the hive boxes with propolis traps to coax bees into lining the hive boxes with the resin. Has anyone tried other methods of roughing up the inside of hive boxes? She mentioned one beekeeper said a pressure washer did the trick for him.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    personally I wouldn't want it. they glue the edges which is all that is needed. the inside of the box is weather tight so it will only make a mess.
    Terrence - 1 year newb

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    This spring I used a handheld wallpaper removal tool on the insides of my nuc boxes and supers. They did a great job of roughing up the wood but I'm not sure if it will make a difference. The tool was similar to this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/RUST-OLEUM-029...lpaper+remover

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Do we know they won't propolize the smooth surfaces vs rough surfaces? Do we know that it's better for the surfaces to be propolized?

    FWIW, when we opened the stud cavities to cut out my bees (cavities had been occupied continuously by bees for two decades or more) the bees had not coated the rough interior surfaces. These barns were built just after the Civil War and the backs of the siding and the interior cladding (these were the surfaces of the stud cavities' vertical walls, in addition to the rough-cut studs themselves) none of which could be described as smooth, since they were not milled with modern equipment, yet they were not propolized.

    Bees had twenty years to do that, and far rougher surfaces than anything you might find today to work with. Yet, they didn't choose to do so.

    There was plenty of propolis around in other areas (outside the entrance, closing cracks, etc.), just not on the walls.

    Enj.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    Do we know they won't propolize the smooth surfaces vs rough surfaces? Do we know that it's better for the surfaces to be propolized?
    According to Renata Borba's research, yes it's better if the surfaces are propolized in managed hives.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcin View Post
    According to Renata Borba's research, yes it's better if the surfaces are propolized in managed hives.
    then why don't they do it on their own?
    Terrence - 1 year newb

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    then why don't they do it on their own?
    Good question! They answer I understood was that they just don't. No one has apparently looked into that yet and figured out the reason why. Figure it out and you might get published!

    The volatiles released from propolis have antimicrobial properties that help boost bee immune systems. Research has proven that when bees are suffering from illness they will try to procure tree resins to self medicate. Hives that are lined with propolis have been shown to have overall better health than hives that do not have the envelope.
    Last edited by Sunny; 04-29-2016 at 04:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    The smooth inside surfaces of my boxes is coated with a thin propolis like substance. I didn't put it there, nor did I rough them up
    to cause the bees to deposit it.
    The older the box the more coating there is. Orangey yellowish red in color and somewhat eggshell like in sheen.
    No, It's not wax, doesn't have the same properties.

  9. #9
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    Vernon, AZ. USA
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    I see a thin film on every surface in my hives. Its not heavy, but its everywhere. Even new wood inside gets a yellow glow after a few months.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
    Good question! They answer I understood was that they just don't. No one has apparently looked into that yet and figured out the reason why. Figure it out and you might get published!

    The volatiles released from propolis have antimicrobial properties that help boost bee immune systems. Research has proven that when bees are suffering from illness they will try to procure tree resins to self medicate. Hives that are lined with propolis have been shown to have overall better health than hives that do not have the envelope.
    Is that research published someplace?
    Terrence - 1 year newb

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    Is that research published someplace?
    I can't access the files on my phone, but here is a link to the current research topics from that specific lab and a listing of publications.

    https://www.entomology.umn.edu/faculty-staff/marla-spivak

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Quote Originally Posted by bjamesvw View Post
    This spring I used a handheld wallpaper removal tool on the insides of my nuc boxes and supers. They did a great job of roughing up the wood but I'm not sure if it will make a difference. The tool was similar to this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/RUST-OLEUM-029...lpaper+remover

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    then why don't they do it on their own?
    They do as your boxes get older and they have good propolis sources for them to collect from. Some of my boxes have propolis dripping out holes on the outside.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    There was a speaker at the Nov CSBA that spoke about this topic and research regarding increased colony health. I failed to record the name in my notes and don't have a source. EDIT: Yes it was Marla Spivak

    Kaizen's question was brought up as to why bees don't do it, and the speaker's reply was over the decades beekeepers have bred for reduced propolis if given a choice.

    (i.e. Bee A makes a lot of propolis and lot of honey, Bee B makes little propolis and lot of honey; keep Bee B)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    I suppose for honey producers its probably not desirable. I don't particularly care. if there was a lot of it i'd probably sell it. My hives have always been light on sealing up their hives. They don't make propolis like in the above picture. I guess my questions above were leading towards us again manipulating the bees by painting on prop lysis? vs them doing what they have done for milenia. Thanks for the links i'll have to take a look at her results.
    Terrence - 1 year newb

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Quote Originally Posted by StingerMcStung View Post
    There was a speaker at the Nov CSBA that spoke about this topic and research regarding increased colony health. I failed to record the name in my notes and don't have a source. EDIT: Yes it was Marla Spivak

    Kaizen's question was brought up as to why bees don't do it, and the speaker's reply was over the decades beekeepers have bred for reduced propolis if given a choice.

    (i.e. Bee A makes a lot of propolis and lot of honey, Bee B makes little propolis and lot of honey; keep Bee B)
    I looked around a bit and that seems to be the consensus. It's for that very reason that we use some strains over others. For instance, I remember reading that many people weren't too fond the Caucasian Bee, and I was browsing through some images I had saved and stumbled across this again.

    Kaizen, while I try to let them just go about their business, it seems we have manipulated their behavior enough to get them to reduce doing something that is beneficial to them. So in this case, I like to think of it as less of a manipulation, and more of a corrective action in recompense to our "human knows best" attitude.

    Oh, I also found a more direct link to the pdfs of those publications.
    http://www.beelab.umn.edu/honey-bees...h/publications

    0794d5d978441834017882c4246fd63c.jpg
    Last edited by Sunny; 05-01-2016 at 04:43 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Accidental duplicate. How can you delete posts on here?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    This depends on the type of bees you keep.
    My Italians don't do that. However, they do try to
    bridge the frames with more propolis during the Spring time than
    the winter time. I wouldn't worry much about the sides of the hive box as
    they know what is good for them. I trust my bees that much!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    Propolis is very important part of bees housekeeping. They normally use it to patch the "imperfections" (in bees opinion), but it is not a "wall paint" to cover entire beehive's interior. After year or so, my boxes covered inside with material similar to some natural "resin", but I do not think it is 100% propolis. It can be some sort of propolis derivative ... Another issue with propolis is that its quality (beneficial) depends from the the source - sometime bees are using asphalt if there is nothing else around. I do not think that such "propolis" is really beneficial to the bees, but it can function as a patch. It is my understanding that good propolis may be obtained only in northern regions.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Propolis envelope techniques?

    >then why don't they do it on their own?

    200 years of selective breeding to not make propolis. The word itself is a pretty good clue. It means "before the city". The "city of bees" would reduce their entrance with mounds of propolis before we bred it out of them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 41y 200h 38yTF

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