What is Propolis? Why is it Important for Bee health And Human Health?
Proplis is a sticky resinous substance, which comes in many different colours, the bees mix the resin with pollen, plus their own enzymes created in their stomachs from glandular substances.
In her book, the song of increase, Jaqueline Freeman she says that, “Propolis comes from the trees, sap is the lifeblood of the trees. The properties vary according to where it is collected from, time of year, and time of day. “PropolisIs the external immune system of the bee.”
Bees waterproof the hive by building canals with propolis to remove condensation, this keeps the hive at a perfect temperature needed to keep the brood warm.
This is why I open my hive as little as possible, because it breaks the sealed wax, and gives the bees more work to do, resealing the hive, and getting the hive back to a temperature to keep the brood warm.
How can Propolis assist us?
Propolis is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and has powerful anti-bacterial properties The strong resins can be used for health, such as in a healing balm, or a dental problem, taken directly as a resin, you can roll up the resin and place it in your tooth. Resin taken as a tincture can prevent decay.
It can be used as a tincture , I have personally used it for coughs and colds. It also boosts the immune system in general.
When I feel a cold coming on, I take 2/3 drops of tincture in a small glass of water, and take this for a couple of days until I feel better. I have even made a propolis and honey tea, which is delicious.
More than 300 compounds have been identified in propolis such as, phenolic compounds, aromatic acids, essential oils, waxes and amino acids. Many scientific articles are published every year in different international journals, and several groups of researchers have focused their attention on the chemical compounds and biological activity of propolis.
So to conclude:
Just as honey and pollen are precious commodities and have healing benefits for both bees and humans, we need to source Propolis carefully to make sure it is ethical, and no bees have been damaged in the process of harvesting it.