Slovensky English
Honey from the beekeeper
Propolis For centuries, beekeepers assumed that bees sealed the beehive with propolis to protect the colony from the elements, such as rain and cold winter drafts. However, 20th century research has revealed that bees not only survive, but also thrive, with increased ventilation during the winter months throughout most temperate regions of the world. Propolis is now believed to: 1. reinforce the structural stability of the hive 2. reduce vibration 3. make the hive more defensible by sealing alternate entrances 4. prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive, and to inhibit bacterial growth prevent putrefaction within the hive. Bees usually carry waste out of and away from the hive. However if a small lizard or mouse, for example, finds its way into the hive and dies there, bees may be unable to carry it out through the hive entrance. In that case, they would attempt instead to seal the carcass in propolis, essentially mummifying it and making it odorless and harmless. Composition The composition of propolis varies from hive to hive, from district to district, and from season to season. Normally it is dark brown in color, but it can be found in green, red, black and white hues, depending on the sources of resin found in the particular hive area. Medical use Propolis is marketed by health food stores as a traditional medicine, and for its claimed beneficial effect on human health. Natural medicine practitioners use propolis for the relief of various conditions, including inflammations, viral diseases, ulcers, superficial burns or scalds.[citation needed] Propolis is also believed to promote heart health, strengthen the immune system and reduce the chances of cataracts. Old beekeepers[citation needed] recommend a piece of propolis kept in the mouth as a remedy for a sore throat. Propolis lozenges and tinctures can be bought in many countries. Though claims have been made for its use in treating allergies, propolis may cause severe allergic reactions if the user is sensitive to bees or bee products.