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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Flower Mound, TX
    Posts
    17

    Default Propolis on bottom

    This is my first year of bee keeping and I was wondering why my bees are building little mounds of Propolis on the bottom of my TBH. Is this normal? I circled the Propolis in red on the attached image.

    hive005-2.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    It doesn't look like propolis to me. Looks like wax debris.

    Sondra

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    Look like bracecomb on the bottom, which is kinda rare

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    Isn't brace comb usually between the bars/frames or along the sides?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Flower Mound, TX
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    The stuff isn't just laying on the bottom...the girls have attached it to the floor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    Unlikely it is a propolis. Propolis usually seals/fills/connnects something. Also, usually, propolis is where there is no wax - wax or propolis in most cases. Sometime they combine both for big job - they sealed top entrance using both wax and propolis. Sometime, if they could not remove the "object" from the hive (mouse corpse), they just propolize it to isolate it from the hive. Propolis is a "good stuff" for bees - I would not worry.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Flower Mound, TX
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    It is possible it is propolis since the area they seem to have put it down is where two boards come togehter and are not even. I just happy they are still going strong since a couple of weeks after installing the package they created queen cells...looks like the queen has successfully been replaced.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Platteville, WI
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    Many times, if you find propolis in balls or cliumps, it is because something was in the hive that the bees could not get out (after it died), such as a mouse. They will cover it with propolis (anti-fungal/anti bacterial properties). These appear to be pretty tiny though. Interesting if it is propolis.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    I had some of those on the bottom of my heart also they look like little wack see sticky mushrooms with a small stem and a ball shaped top of the definitely seem to be made out of propolis or wax and propolis. I just scraped mine and tossed them out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,408

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    > the area they seem to have put it down is where two boards come togehter and are not even.

    There may also be a small hole/crack between the boards, and they are sealing the hole.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    I can't tell if that's propolis, but it appears to be wax. Assuming it is propolis, they do make clumps of it here and there because they have to work it. They have to reinforce every corner of the insides of the cells as well as reworking the attachments of the combs and painting everything with some kind of substance that appears to come from propolis.

    "How bees distribute propolis.

    "So we peopled a hive so prepared as to fulfill our views. The bees, building upwards, soon reached the glass, but unable to quit their habitations on account of supervening rains, they were three weeks without bringing home any propolis. Their combs remained perfectly white until the beginning of July, when the atmosphere became more favorable for our observations. Serene weather and high temperature engaged them to forage; and they returned from the fields laden with this resinous gum resembling transparent jelly; with the color and luster of the garnet it was easily distinguished from the farinaceous pellets then brought home by other bees. The workers bearing propolis joined the clusters hanging from the ceiling of the hive, we saw them travel through the outside of these clusters; after reaching the supports of the combs, they appeared to rest, sometimes they stopped on the walls, waiting for their companions to relieve them of their burden. We actually saw two or three approach them and carry the propolis away with their teeth. The upper part of the hive exhibited the most animated spectacle, thither a host of bees resorted from all quarters, the distribution and application of the propolis being then their predominant occupation; some conveyed between their teeth the material which they had secured from the purveyors and deposited it upon the frames and supports of the combs; others hastened to spread it out like a varnish before it hardened, or formed it into strings proportioned to the interstices of the walls of the hives to be puttied up. Nothing could be more diversified than their operations; but we were most interested in the art which they used in applying propolis on the inside of the cells. Those which appeared to be charged with this task were easily distinguished from the multitude of workers because their heads were turned towards the horizontal pane. Upon reaching it, they deposited the propolis in the middle of the interval separating the combs. Then we saw them apply this substance in the real place of its destination; taking advantage of the points of support which its viscosity supplied, they appeared to hang to it with the claws of their posterior legs, seemingly swinging themselves under the pane of glass; the effect of this motion was to carry their body backwards and forward and at each motion we saw the lump of propolis come nearer to the cells; the bees used their anterior legs to sweep together that which had been detached and to unite these fragments upon the surface of the glass; the latter recovered its transparency when all the propolis was brought to the mouth of the cells. A few bees entered the cells located against the glass; it was there that I expected to see them at leisure: they brought no propolis, but they cleaned and polished the cell with their teeth worked in the angular corners, making them thicker, smoothed the rough edges; while the antennae appeared to feel the way; these organs located in front of their jaws evidently enable them to notice such projecting molecules as must be removed.

    "After one of these workers had smoothed down the wax in the angle of a cell, she emerged from the cell backwards and having approached a heap of propolis, she drew out a thread of it with her teeth; this being broken off by a quick motion of the head, it was taken in the claws of the forefeet and the bee re-entered the cell which she had just prepared. She did not hesitate but immediately placed it in the angle of the two parts that she had just smoothed, but she probably found it too long for the space required, for she cut away a piece of it; both of her front feet were used to fit it and stretch it between the two walls; and her teeth worked to imbed it in the angular furrow to be lined. After these diverse operations, the thread of propolis evidently appeared too large for her taste; she raked it over with the same instruments and at each time removed a parcel of it: when the work was completed, we admired the accuracy with which it was adjusted between the two walls of the cell. The worker did not stop there, turning to another part of the cell, she worked with her jaws upon the edges of the two other trapezes and we understood that she was preparing a spot to be covered with another thread of propolis. No doubt she was about to help herself out of the heap from which she had taken it previously; but contrary to our expectation she availed herself of the portion of the thread cut off from the first bit, arranged it in the appointed space and gave it all the solidity and finish of which it was susceptible. Other bees finished the work began by this one, all the cell walls were soon encircled with threads of propolis, while some were also put on the orifices; but we could not seize the moment when they were varnished, though it may be easily conceived how it was done."--Francis Huber, New Observations Upon Bees, Volume II, Chapter VI, pg 489
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: Propolis on bottom

    Beautiful reading. Thank you!
    Серёжа, Sergey

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