All about propolis
Propolis (bee glue) is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by mixing beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive.
The color of propolis varies from yellow-green, orange-green to brown and dark brown depending on the sources of resin found in the particular hive area or from the time it exists inside the hive. In low temperatures, lower than 15 deg, propolis is like glass and very hard. In high temperatures, higher than 30 deg, it starts being plastic and becomes gummy. Normaly propolis melts in 60 to 70 deg and has thicknes of 1,12gr/ml. It is completely undissolvable in water and it gets dissolved in ethanol and other organic dissolvers.
The chemical composition of propolis varies from region to region, along with the vegetation. In northern temperate climates, for example, bees collect resins from trees, such as poplars and conifers (the biological role of resin in trees is to seal wounds and defend against bacteria, fungi and insects. The chemical composition is particularly complicated, as there have been detected in it more than 300 chemical constituents. Mainly it consists of resins (50%), waxes (30%), essential oils (10%), pollen (5%). The rest is inorganic substances, vitamins, trace elements and other unknown substances.
The healing properties of propolis have been known since ancient times, during which it was also referred to as “black wax”. People who thrived on the Mediterranean shores used propolis as a medicine, as they had found its anti-inflammatory effect. Hippocrates recommended it to spread ulcers and burns. The Roman soldiers in their campaigns always had propolis in their luggage, while the Egyptians used it for the mummification of the dead. Today propolis is widely used as a medicine, either as a solid formulation or as a component of other formulations. The main research properties of Propolis are: