Other bees, like soldiers,
Armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds,
Which pillage they with merry
March bring home.
Shakespeare, Henry the V
What a poetical devination!
It seems that Shakespeare new that propolis is gathered by the bees from summers velvet buds of poplars.
The word propolis originate from Greek: «pro» = in front, «polis» = city. "Propoliso"
means in Greek also to stick. The meaning „ in front of the city „ suits well the protecting role of propolis for the bee colony. Propolis is also called bee glue, to symbolise the cleaving function of propolis in the bee hive. Bees gather resinous exudates originating mainly from buds, but also from leaves, branches and barks. As propolis has a strong antibacterial and fungicide properties it creates in the hive a highly hygienic environment, although the temperature of 37o C is ideal for the development of microbes.
Propolis is one of the strongest natural antibiotics and antioxidants. As the
antimicrobial activity is due to many different substances, the development of resistance of the bacteria is practically impossible. It has many different biological effects in animal and cell
experiments. The most important are: antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal; immuno-modulating, anti-inflammatory; anti-cancerogenic; local anaesthetic; liver protecting; radiation
In Medicine it has a wide therapeutic use in different branches, the most important being Stomatology, Odontology, Otorhinolaryngology and Gastroenterology.
You can download for free the Propolis Book,if you are member of the Bee Hexagon Knowledge Network (free membership offered).
The book will be updated, look at the publication date.
Bee collecting green propolis on tbe Baccharis plant (Brazil) producing especially big amounts of propolis material. Brazilisn beekeepers make the biggest harvest in the world on this propolis type.