WHAT IS IT?
Propolis is a resinous hive product collected by honeybees around the world from various plants. The bees gather the resin of very young plant leaves on their back legs and carry it to the hive where they mix it with beeswax and enzymes to make propolis.
The natural appearance of propolis resembles a glue-like dough and is generally a shade of yellow, green, red or brown depending on its source and collecting season. It is removed from the hive with either a knife or spatula.
WHAT DO THE BEES USE IT FOR?
Bees use propolis to secure the walls of the bee hive and seal the openings with vegetable resins collected from apicultural areas. This way, bees are able to maintain purity and hygiene of the hive by using propolis. Because bees don't have their own immune system, they use propolis as their immune system.
Inside the cells: where the queen puts its eggs, and worker bees deposit honey, propolis is used to make the new bees stronger and for disinfection.
In openings: the bees build a propolis-barrier at the hive entrances to avoiding invaders like ants, beetles, and mites to enter. This helps to keep the hive integer and avoids contamination.
In hive cleaning: when an invader is neutralized inside the hive, and it cannot be brought out by the bees, they cover it with a layer of propolis to avoid putrefaction and consequent hive contamination.
WHY IS IT SO GOOD?
Propolis contains balsamic resins, beeswax, oils and pollen. These ingredients are rich in vitamins and micro elements. Propolis was used as early as 3000 BC, fulfilling a broad spectrum of biological functions.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROPOLIS AND BRAZILIAN GREEN PROPOLIS?
The difference between other Propolis and Brazilian Green Propolis is the botanical source.
The Brazilian Green Propolis is made by Africanized bees that harvest the resinous substances of young leaves of a plant called Baccharis dracunculifolia (Alecrim do Campo) in order to sterilize and protect the beehive against cold, heat, wind, humidity and disease.
Brazilian Green Propolis is rich in a certain group of antioxidants called Flavonoids. They are powerful, free-radical scavengers that give strong support to the human body’s natural immune system at the cellular level and assist with cell regeneration.
The Brazilian Green Propolis contains also an important phenolic acid, named Artepillin C.
IS GREEN PROPOLIS BETTER?
Most research today is done in Japan. Their scientists consider the Brazilian Green Propolis the best in the world due to its high content of Flavonoids and Artepillin C.
It differs mainly due to the incredible Brazilian flora and the sturdy Africanized honeybees. Brazil has excellent quality of Green Propolis due to its climate and flora. It is also the only place in the world where Alecrim do Campo grows in abundance. Some Japanese researchers feel that Brazilian Green Propolis is the most efficient natural medicine ever discovered.
HOW LONG HAVE WE KNOWN ABOUT THIS?
The use of propolis in popular medicine goes back to ancient Egypt times. Its properties were already known in the treatment of a number of infections, sores and even in the mummification processes.
In the early days it has been scientifically studied as an antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral treatment in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.
In the end of the 80’s Japanese researchers have discovered new active compounds in propolis with special properties. Nowadays we also know that propolis is a strong stimulant of the immune system.
WHAT IS THE AFRICANIZED HONEYBEE?
European honeybees are better suited for low temperature weather, while Brazilian bees are extremely aggressive and don't adapt to cold weather, preferring hotter temperatures. Brazilian honeybees also are more resistant to common European bees’ diseases. In Brazil, the great majority of beekeepers don’t need to use any antibiotics in the treatment of their hives.
If a hive gets ill, they change its weak queen and let nature do its job. This way, hives maintain their resistance naturally and do not require antibiotic support. The bees' vitality results in higher productivity and their action range is wider.
WHAT IS APICULTURE?
Apiculture is the culturing of bees to harvest their products. Today, Brazil is one of the biggest bee product suppliers in the world. Among bee products we can list honey, propolis, bee venom, royal jelly, pollen and beeswax.
Honey and propolis are the most commercialized in volume. The resistance and vitality of Brazilian honeybees in conjunction with Brazil's remarkable flora diversity, the rich hydric resources, the adequate weather and altitude creates the ideal conditions to produce propolis of extremely good quality.