The Bees' Miracle Mud!
Have you ever wondered what that gunky stuff is that glues our bee boxes together making it “pop” when we break the seal? That's propolis! Not really high-tech stuff – basically just the “ooze” that drips from trees or other botanical sources, collected by our honeybees to use in their hives. When mixed with bee saliva (bee spit) and beeswax, the concoction becomes a “tool” the bees use for many different benefits inside the hive and even for their health!
Did you know?
- Propolis is Bee Caulk! Bees use this sticky resin as a “crack filler” inside their hives to stop drafts and more importantly, robbing!
- The rigidity of propolis adds “stability” to the hive and can reduce vibrations that might occur.
- Medicine – Propolis provides anti-fungal and antibacterial benefits to the colony.
- Honey Bees will keep “back stock” of propolis, “just in case” of emergencies; as much as 1 pound stored and ready to go!
- Social immunity – studies have shown honeybees that have prolific propolis have “sterilized” the nest, keeping diseases and pathogens under control better than low propolis colonies.
- Propolis is also used to embalm large intruders that can’t be removed. Honeybees will create a propolis encasement as a “self-preservation” factor to help keep their nest sanitary from the rotting intruder!
We know the bees use the propolis to seal cracks, but have you ever seen them reduce the entrance to their hive when the beekeeper failed to? Bees are pretty smart - Cool weather coming or invasion of unwanted guest? They’ll quickly utilize their propolis reserves and create an entrance reducer when needed! You can collect you own propolis using a Propolis Trap!