The hive is one of the most generous territories on the planet. Not only for the honey provided by the bees, but also for the quantity of products offered, among others, bee bread, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and wax.
Bees make propolis from the buds of trees, shrubs and other vegetables, and use it to coat the walls of combs in order to keep them free of bacteria, fungi and other invaders.
In cold areas, bees use it to reduce the size of the entrance; Those who know say that a winter will be raw and cold when there is a lot of propolis in the mouth of the comb.
Propolis was already known by Aristotle, who considered it a good remedy for skin infections, sores and suppurations. The Incas used it to alleviate febrile infections; the French of the XVIII century took advantage of it in the healing of sores, and during the war of the boers, in South Africa around 1900, it was widely used in the treatment of infected wounds and as a cicatrizant substance.
It is a resinous, balsamic substance, with a variable color between yellow and dark brown, which depends on its botanical origin. It has a pungent, often bitter taste, and a pleasant and sweet smell. When it burns, it exhales a fragrance of aromatic resins.
The average amount that a beehive can produce a year depends on the species of the bee and is usually between 150 and 300 grams.
Hives located in forests or near rivers where there are poplars contain more propolis than those located in flat areas. The bees manufacture the substance throughout the year, but it is at the end of summer and during the autumn when there is more production.
It stands out for its content of provitamin A and B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B3, in addition to a large number of substances such as amino acids and minerals. Among its medicinal properties are significant antibiotics (bactericidal and fungicidal), antiviral and antitumor.
It is an extraordinary healing and anti-inflammatory, as well as analgesic and anti-allergic. Epithelizing, anesthetic and immunostimulant qualities are also known. Propolis can be purchased in extract, pills, oils and creams. Another extraordinary gift from bees.