How To Start Beekeeping... Click Here!

Propolis

48. Propolis is a resinous substance gathered by the bees from the buds or limbs of some trees. It is brittle in cold weather, but so sticky in the summer that the bees apply it immediately to the purposes for which they procure it. It is used to stop the cracks in the wood of their home, sometimes to reduce too large an entrance and often to strengthen the combs at their junction with the walls. They also use it to cover up obstacles which they are unable to remove, such as partially rotten wood in the hollow trees which they inhabit, or to cover up and in some manner embalm the bodies of large insects or the bones of mice which have found their way into the hive and have been stung to death by them.

It is conveyed to the hive, in the pollen baskets, (27, Fig 15, 16) in the same manner as pollen, already mentioned. Such is the intelligent wisdom of those little insects that they rarely gather propolis when honey may be had. They evidently know that the honey will waste in the flowers if not removed without delay or is mainly gormandize? During dull, dry summers, large quantities of propolis are sometimes gathered and the entire inner walls of the hive thickly coated with it (82).
 

How To Start Beekeeping... Click Here!