I've been saying for years that the idea that beekeepers were breeding bee for low propolis production or use, was having a harming effect on the bees. We have been breeding "wussy bees" (A term I have used for years on other forums in discussing among other things, propolis) by limiting their own survival traits. I laugh when a beekeeper complains of a bit of propolis in their hives and they mention some sticky stuff on their fingers. Small price to pay for allowing the bees to combat ill-effects and allowed to survive as nature intended.
To imagine some beekeepers actually list low or no propolis as a trait they favor in selecting a breed of bees is nonsense.
I have known all along that there is reasons for bees propolizing their hives, smoothing things out, sealing cracks gluing frames to the supers at times requiring a jack hammer to get them out. Makes sense that there are properties associated with propolis that while suspected, now are becomming known as science not spectulation. Long been known for a sort of treatment for sore throat chewing propolis, not paticulately tasty but seems to work.
Regardless of what is written about 'Hive products' propolis is and always has been colleced and used by bees.
Propolis is the generic name for the resinous substsnces collected by honey bees from a varity of plant sources, mainly trees. There is no doubt that propolis has antibacterial and antofungal activity and concoctions of it have been applied to wounds and skin lesions from ancient times.
It must bee remembered there can bee side effects to the use of propolis because it is strongly allergenic and often causes an unpleasent irritating rash on the hands of beekeepers who handle it regularly. It has the propensity to cause the same reaction when applied as an oinment or similar concoctions
I feel that any claim made by persons regarding propolis being a medical remedy must be viewed with scepticism.
I make a propolis tinture for my own and families health. Yep, I don't mine proplis in my hives. Well, not too much. LOL makes HARD work for us beeks. Although I do scrape and save fresh propolis when I clean off my frames and frame rests.
I melt down the propolis in the oven on low for a few hours to melt any wax residue from it. I just use a tin pie plate.
Then remove the wax, and then put the propolis in the freezer to harden. If you don't live in the north, I am here to tell you it gets very brittle in cold weather.
Then bring it out and break it into very small pieces, powder is better. Put it in a canning jar or any throw away bottle.
Then add as close to 100 proof alcohol as It canbe to it. 80 proof works. Let it set in a dark cupboard for 5-7days. Shaking a few times a day. Strain out the propolis, and put the tincture in small dropper bottles, label and store. If a cold starts to come on. take a few drops by mouth.
I have actually headed off some serious lung infections using propolis tinture and other herbs, essential oils. I make a propolis salve, for cuts. works Like Neosporin.
I BELIEVE, the bees truely have something with the proplis, and I truely do not wish to Eliminate it. The Minnesota Hygenic bees, make lots of propolis, more than any other bee genetics I have had. I am not saying only Minnesota HYs are the only HYGENIC bees. I have had some New World Carniolans that were pretty Propolis involved also. The Russians I have had make more than usual. I think its more of a genetic trait, than any single race of bee. Any race could be selected over time to have those traits.
Interesting. Perhaps this is why my bees aren't dropping like flies. I don't treat and I barely remove the propolis. If I did my hives might fall apart! LOL! I swear a couple of them are only held together by propolis.