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How is Propolis Made?

How is Propolis Made?

Propolis, defined as a miracle that is given to mankind by bees, is produced in completely natural ways.

In order to produce honey, bees combine the extracts they gather with their own enzymes to protect their hives and youngs. Propolis, a resinous substance collected from the leaves and stems of different plant buds, is collected especially from birch, beech, poplar, willow, pine, spruce, alder and chestnut.

Propolis is the key to the survival of the bees and the whole colony. Thanks to propolis, bees protect their hives from bacteria, fungi and viruses while at the same time raising their young in a healthy way.

An important part of the content of propolis is flavonoids, polyphenols, phenolic acids and their esters, terpenes, steroids, vitamins B1, B2, C and E, as well as various minerals and amino acids.

The main plants as a propolis source for bees are Maple, Hazelnut, Oak, Alder, Plum, Willow, Horse Chestnut, Pine, Eucalyptus, Chestnut, Poplar, Linden and Ash.

Producing propolis is a very laborious and labor-intensive process for the bees.

Bees are very selective when collecting propolis and always pick the buds in the high parts of the trees. Using their mouths, they collect the gum-like material they have picked up on their hind legs and collect as much as they can carry, then return to their hives.

The area where the bees collect propolis is quite decisive for the quality of propolis. Because bees can use paint, pitch and mineral oils as propolis and carry them to the hive. Therefore, bee hives should be located as far away from residential areas and asphalt roads.

How to Collect and Extract Propolis?

The most important step before collecting propolis should be to prevent contamination of the propolis with wax, paint and other parts of the beehive. The cleanest and simplest way to collect propolis is the trap method.

Traps are small perforated plates formed as a simulation of cracks in beehives. Bees who want to protect their hives from external factors try to close the small holes in the traps and form propolis at the same time. Thanks to the traps, the wax that will pollute the product is not being mixed with the propolis. And so, the harvest time becomes faster and more propolis are taken.

Traps coated with propolis by bees are removed from the hive and stored in a deep freezer. Cold-cured propolis gains a brittle structure and is separated from the traps by a simple bending action applied to the inner lid.

The Miracle of Propolis

Propolis is a resinous substance, a completely natural bee product that resembles a sticky gum that changes from yellow-brown to black in its raw form. The color of propolis may vary depending on the seasonal and plant characteristics of the region where it is collected.

Propolis produced in countries with mild climate is brown, while propolis in tropical countries is black. However, propolis produced in countries such as Finland and Cuba has a lighter color as a dark oak.

Like all natural products with antioxidant properties, propolis has a bitter and sour taste. When it is first taken from the hive, it has a unique smell. Propolis, a resinous and sticky substance, softens when it comes into contact with heat; hardens and solidifies when exposed to cold air.

Index of a Propolis

The chemical content of propolis, which has played a key role in keeping bees alive for millions of years, is quite complex. The chemical content of propolis, which may vary according to the region and plant species, is generally composed of 50% resin, 30% wax, 10% essential and aromatic oils, 5% pollen and 5% organic residues.

How to tell if the propolis is natural or not?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to say that many of the products sold under the name of propolis are real and natural propolis. It is not possible to distinguish which of these products is natural propolis without analysis.

In the analysis, it was understood that the propolis brought from China contained the stems and leaves of the trees and they were pulverized and sold as ‘propolis’.

Many users who take China propolis and want to benefit from it, cannot use it by all means and benefit from the valuable features of propolis since they use another product obtained from the pulverization of stems and leaves of trees.

The color of pure, organic and natural propolis changes from light brown to dark brown. It has been found that some products contain dyes to capture the natural color of pure propolis.

Due to the lack of laboratories to conduct extensive research on bee products and the difficult analysis of propolis, there are some Chinese propolis products on the market which do not have the properties of a natural propolis.

Turkey is the world's second largest bee products manufacturer with its more than 7 million beehives. Beeandyou makes use of this magnificent feature of the Anatolian geography, which hosts more than 10 thousand endemic plant species, and produces 100% natural and pure propolis without losing its nutritional values.

Beeandyou offers the product in its most natural and pure form by combining the propolis obtained from 250 thousand hives with the contracted beekeeping model developed for the first time.

Properties of Anatolian propolis

The forest geography of Anatolia, dating back 2,000 years, has a rich and valuable endemic vegetation.

Beeandyou's Anatolian Propolis from Anatolia's rich plant flora is safely consumed in countries around the world such as the USA, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the TRNC.

However propolis produced by Beeandyou’s "From the Hive to Fork" and "Contracted Beekeeping" models offers royal jelly, pollen and raw honey in Turkey and as well as all around the world. Anatolian propolis has a very special profile compared to products produced in other countries. In a study carried out jointly by ITU Food Engineering Department and Istanbul University Faculty of Medicine, phenolic and flavanoids were found to be the highest in the Anatolia propolis comparing to other propolis products in the world.

Propolis products and how to use them

Propolis must be extracted correctly before use and there are different ways of using propolis product.

The propolis extract may generally be consumed externally or internally.

If you want to consume propolis product internally, you can choose from the drops of propolis, propolis spray, propolis tablets/capsules, and propolis spreads.

If you want to consume propolis externally, you can choose again from propolis drops.

How often should propolis be used? What is the dosage?

You may find different suggestions on how often propolis should be used. You can consume propolis in liquid form as the most practical way. Under normal conditions, you can consume 20 drops of propolis per day in adults, up to 4 times in case of illness.

The recommended amount of propolis in children is 10 drops per day. In cases of illness, the amount of use can be quadrupled.

Propolis can be consumed directly or with foods such as yoghurt, cereals, milk or fruit juices. And water soluble propolis extract can be added to water as well.

Propolis product range

You can choose your propolis extract as a drop in liquid form, mixed with raw honey or with usage options such as propolis spray, propolis syrup and tablets/capsules.

In addition, there are also mixtures of propolis containing honey with peanuts, pistachios, and hazelnut. These are especially healthy and natural alternative products to bread-spread chocolate mixes which is consumable during meals or breakfast.

Firstly developed by Beeandyou, “Development of Propolis Spreadable Natural Blends” project was supported by TUBITAK.