colonies use propolis as a building and disinfectant material. They patch
cracks, solidify honeycombs, disinfect and polish cells, and reduce entrance
openings to protect against winter breeze. Beekeepers can collect about 100 to
150 grams of propolis per bee colony per season, but this depends on family
strength, climate, and geographical conditions.
The belief that bees make propolis is still valid. To a resinous mixture of tree buds, tree bark, and sap flows, they add pollen and secretions of bee glands. We can conclude that the bees collect and work propolis.
Propolis is a resinous and profoundly healing substance that strengthens the immune system and has antibacterial properties. Its use in the field of medicine and herbalism for a very long time. Bees made propolis out of resin, essential oils, pollen, vitamins, minerals, and other organic substances. Propolis has a complex chemical composition and contains over 300 different ingredients.
Propolis is most commonly used to kill fungi and bacteria and as a completely natural antibiotic that does not cause any side effects. In addition, propolis also helps relieve pain, reduce viral infection, eliminates or reduces the harmful effects of free radicals, and can even destroy cancer cells.
HOW BEEKEEPERS COLLECTING PROPOLIS?
Propolis is very important for the bee colony. Bees use it as construction and disinfectant material. They also can patch cracks on a hive, harden honeycombs, disinfect cells and reduce throat openings before the winter cold.
Now let’s see how beekeepers collect propolis. Propolis is still mainly harvested by beekeepers by scraping it off wooden hive parts and frames with a knife. In my opinion, propolis collected in such a manner in the lowest quality. Because we can scrap pieces of wood and other impurities from frames. Moreover, this propolis is exposed to the entire beekeeper’s treatment of the bee colony throughout the whole year. Thus traces of chemicals can remain in propolis. I collect honey bee propolis with propolis collector. I insert these nets with openings up to 3mm in hive around August and leave it into November. I add these nets between 1st and 2nd brood. I also insert between broods toothpick. When you insert a toothpick, it becomes windier in the hive, and bees hate wind. So they cover nets and openings with propolis. Then in November, I remove propolis collector and put them in the freezer, and then I scrape down propolis. That’s how I get pure propolis.
Today we can find propolis in many products such as toothpaste, skin cream, tinctures, candies, syrups, and other natural products. However, propolis doesn’t need to be processed, it can be eaten raw. I enjoy it myself when I am with bees, I scrape off propolis from honeycomb and give myself a small ball under the tongue. It is also the best absorption while also disinfects the oral cavity and throat.
Recipes of home remedies with propolis
1. Tincture of propolis (alcoholic extract of propolis with ethyl alcohol, above 70% to 96%)
We can use propolis tincture on the skin, or we can drink it. For different purposes, we prepare extracts in different proportions. 2%, 4%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 30% or more. For a good tincture, it is necessary to grind propolis into powder. Because if it is in powder, it melts faster. To prepare the tincture, place alcohol and propolis in an airtight container, seal the top and shake briefly. We must repeat shaking once or twice a day. It is best if we leave it for two or three weeks. When we finish, we must clean the tincture. The easiest way is to pass it through a coffee filter. Filtration is a slow process. The residues of the first filtration can be re-soaked in alcohol for an additional extract, but it isn’t as strong as the first extract. The final tincture will be a clear liquid, dark brown, or slightly reddish. It is important to remember that the propolis factor is 1.5 times. For example, take 150g of propolis powder and mix it with 1l of 96% alcohol to give a 10% tincture. 96% of alcohol in tincture is not so pleasant to drink. So in slowly heat tincture so that alcohol evaporates. The finished product contains about 50% alcohol. This tincture contains around 20% mixture. The higher the alcohol content, the more propolis is melted into the tincture. Such tincture we can use for 5-6 years.
2. Water-alcohol emulsion of propolis.
We can use it orally for bandages, inhalation, gargling, and more. We can prepare from an alcoholic propolis extract with the addition of distilled water, deionized, or at least boiled water. We dissolve it depending on the desire.
3. Water propolis
We can use it orally for gargling, aerosol
inhalation, and external where. Usually, it is used on children, because
traditional tincture on alcohol is not recommended.
We can make it by the following recipe: 20g of propolis crushed into fine dust, sieved through a fine sieve, poured with 100ml of water, and stirred for one hour in a container inserted into another container with water heated slightly less than the boiling point. Then pour the liquid through a few layers of gauze and pour it into a glass container that seals well and store in a dark place. The aqueous solution we can obtain from propolis before and after the preparation of the alcoholic extract since the water-soluble parts will be preserved after the alcoholic extraction.
4. Propolis oil-alcohol emulsions
It is made from 30% alcohol extract. We can use it for burns on the skin, eczema, and other diseases. We can use olive oil or almond oil in ratio 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3 (for example, 100ml propolis extract in 300ml of olive oil). Before usage, we must thoroughly mix mixture so that alcohol and oil can mix. For skin, usage is much better, because alcohol makes the skin dry.
5. Propolis concentrate
We dissolved propolis powder in 96% alcohol. Then we make propolis tincture. We use the same recipe as described above. Then we cook propolis tincture over low heat until the alcohol evaporates completely. But we have to be very careful about preparing tincture. It can burn quickly, and vapors can make us dizzy. The best is that we cook outside. We cook so long that we get gluey, dark paste. We can use propolis concentrate to make ointments, oils, for inhalations, and so on.
6. Propolis healing ointment
Put 100grams of shea butter in a bowl and put it in another hot water bowl. When shea butter melt, gradually added 10, 15, 20, or 30g of propolis powder and stirred for 10-20 minutes to obtain a homogeneous mass. Pour gently through the gauze and pour it into a well-sealed glass container. We keep it in the dark and dry place. If we don’t have propolis powder, we can add propolis concentrate. This ointment we can use for a different purpose. We can use it to treat wounds, hemorrhoids, burns, toothache and more.
7. Propolis oil
We add finely crushed propolis powder to cold-pressed olive oil or some other quality oil. The basic recipe is 100g of powder to 1l of oil. I leave propolis for 21 days in oil and stir daily, then strain through gauze. With this oil, we can relieve digestive problems and fever. You can use one tablespoon half an hour before a meal.
8. Propolis honey
Mix 20g of propolis powder with 200g of crystallized honey or cream honey, and you will get propolis honey. I prefer cream honey because, in cram honey, propolis powder is equally distributed. Then mix well. Store in a glass jar in refrigerate. We can consume such honey several times a day, but no more than a teaspoon. This propolis honey strengthens our immune system.
9. Natural propolis for skin use.
Warm 1g of pure propolis (between your fingers) until it softens. Shape it into a thin layer and place it on the damaged area. Then put it with a patch or bandage. After 3-4 days, remove it and repeat it if necessary. We can use Such patches for warts, toothaches, inflammation …
10. Pure propolis for internal use
Very well purified propolis is formed into 0.3 – 0.5 g balls. We eat one shot three times a day for 1-2 hours before a meal. Such usage can be useful for problems with the stomach and colonial diseases.
The most commonly homemade usage of propolis is powder and tincture. Before production, we must thoroughly clean propolis. Remove all impurities. One way to turn propolis into powder is to freeze it and grind it with an electric grinder. We need to be careful not to crush for too long as the propolis will heat up and become sticky. When ground, we must sift it through a fine sieve to obtain dust. We must wear protective equipment when handling propolis. We must always wear gloves and goggles. Propolis scales are very irritating to the skin. Tinctures and extracts from propolis are relatively easy to make. We can make them with minimal investment. Choosing the right solvent is very important, especially in the product used for human consumption. On an excellent tincture, it is necessary to grind propolis to powder, because if it is in powder, it melts faster.