Propolis is a resinous substance gathered by the bees from the leaf buds or the bark of certain trees and bushes. The bees then use the propolis as a cement that lines the walls of the hive in which they prepare honey, pollen, royal jelly and other related by products. Nature has provided bees with this substance to keep them and their hives free of germs in spite of 40,000 to 50, 000 bees being crammed into close quarters in the hive.
The green to brownish glue like material with an aromatic smell and slightly bitter taste is made up of 50 to 55 percent resin and balsam, 40 percent wax, 10 percent other, depending on what kind of foliages are available.
Researchers found the therapeutic properties of propolis come from substances called flavonoids found in the resin.
Propolis is rich in minerals, B-vitamins and antibiotics and works to raise the body’s natural resistance by stimulating it to produce its own disease fighting defenses.
Bees collect propolis, treat it with their own enzymes and use the sticky material to patch holes, or cracks in the hive. This organic cement protects the insects and their home from contamination, moisture, and germs.