October 10, 2016

Harvesting Propolis

Propolis is becoming increasingly valued by those seeking more natural products and remedies and therefore the collection of propolis has become a profitable exercise for beekeepers. Propolis is harvested in Autumn using special propolis traps, it is at this time that the bees will be anxious to seal any holes up to reduce potential winter drafts. Propolis can of course just be scraped from the hive parts but it is more likely to have pieces of wood and other impurities in it. These can be filtered out, but this can be time-consuming.

Propolis traps are usually simple metal or plastic screens, similar to queen excluders. However mosquito or fly mesh can be stretched across a frame as an alternative propolis trap. A trick that is often used is to add the traps at the top of the hive and prop the roof open slightly, thereby allowing light to enter. This will then prompt the bees to cover the mesh with propolis to block out the light.

Once the traps are full they can then be  removed and frozen, which will make the propolis become hard and brittle and therefore easier to remove. Take out any obvious debris and then store in the refrigerator in a clean air tight container.

Below are some propolis based products you might like to check out

More about Propolis