Approximate chemical composition of propolis
|An Integral part||Contains %|
It is heavier than water — specific gravity in the range of 1.1— 1.3.
Has characteristic smell -a mixture of smells of honey, herbs, pine, poplar).
Taste is bitter, slightly pungent.
Propolis should be stored at temperatures not exceeding 25’С and relative humidity not less than 65%.
In early spring, some bees circling not near the first flowers, and bare branches of trees – alder, aspen, poplars, chestnuts, birches. What they are looking for ?
They pinch off a brownish resin, which is covered with buds, and fly with that weight in the hive. Their prey – a bee glue, propolis.
Warmed up in a warm hive, the propolis becomes soft like clay. Sticky mass of bees inside the hive cover shaky parts, rough wooden boards, close up the slightest gaps, holes, grease the landing board, honeycomb wax. Why would they need that?
First, to reduce the heat dissipation. As a result, in the hive able to maintain the high temperature necessary for the development of bee breed. Secondly, the overlap ways of entry of the enemy bees: microbes, parasitic mites and insects. Thirdly, volatile substances of the propolis kills bacteria, moulds inside the hive body and the bees.
Propolis has the appearance of a brown, greenish, gray mass. It has typical resinous odor and bitter, astringent taste. Warm propolis is softened. It bees add propolis to the wax, pollen, secretions of the labial glands. The chemical composition of propolis is very complex, it’s hundreds (!) substances. They include macro – and micronutrients: potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, manganese, cobalt, copper, selenium and others. In the propolis and inhibitory substances, which do not allow the pollen – the pollen reserves, drenched in honey, to grow in the comb.
Because bee propolis is obtained from different sources, and its composition is variable. Because of this, pathogenic microbes cannot develop resistance to its action. This natural antibiotic propolis is different from conventional medicine.
The beneficial properties of bee glue is widely used by people. In medicine and veterinary medicine it is included in the composition of extracts, ointments, pastes, emulsions, tinctures. In folk medicine it is used for quick healing of wounds, removal of calluses, recovery from tuberculosis, dermatitis, boils, herpes, eczema. Propolis – a good helper in the treatment of angina, sciatica, ulcers of the stomach and intestines, inflammation of the ear, oral cavity, sinusitis, fungal diseases, herpes. It weakens the effects of radiation damage, burns and frostbite. The propolis is not toxic and supports the immune system (though occasionally cause allergies).
Bee glue is an important component of many cosmetic products: creams, lotions, deodorants, balms, toothpastes. It improves the skin, strengthens hair, protects from UV burns.
And propolis is used for the manufacture of high quality paints, used to cover the violin instruments. He gives them not only beauty, but a special sound. What, after all, is an amazing substance created by nature!
Semen Volovnik, Ph. D., associate Professor