What is Propolis & How Do Honey Bees Use It?

What is Propolis & How Do Honey Bees Use It?

As beekeepers we literally have to pop open or pry open the top cover and the inner cover of a beehive with our hive tool. We also use our hive tool to separate the frames to be able to lift them up to check. Honey bees gather an amazing compound called propolis, better known as “bee glue”, from the sap of trees and buds. This sticky, brownish resin collected by the bees is used to seal cracks and drafts, repair their hive and possibly even to polish brood cells between brood cycles. During this time of year, honey bees are working hard preparing their homes and protecting themselves for the long winter months ahead, and propolis is that glue that holds it all together and provides the best defense for their immunity. On a side note, propolis is being used as a health aid with benefits dating back to the Old Testament times. The “Balm of Gilead” mentioned in the book of Jeremiah in the Bible may refer to propolis.

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Tree dripping with sap


Propolis on top and in between each frame


 Inner cover lifted to show propolis