Propolis Benefits

Please place treatment free research here. There's a lot of research spread around the Internet that is related to treatment free beekeeping. This forum is an effort to try and consolidate some of this, especially new research as it becomes available.
User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Propolis Benefits

Postby Nordak » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:25 pm

An interesting read on beneficial actions of propolis.

http://www.apidologie.org/articles/apido/full_html/2010/03/m09142/m09142.html

From the article:

3.2. Varroa destructor

 "V. destructor is currently the most damaging parasite affecting honey bee colonies, even with the current colony collapse issues (Cox-Foster et al., 2007; Johnson et al., 2009). Information on the effect of propolis against this parasitic mite has the possibility to shed light on the use of propolis as an in-hive treatment, but also on a possible natural benefit of propolis use by honey bees. A series of laboratory assays have shown that directly exposing mites held in petri dishes to relatively low concentrations of ethanolic propolis extracts caused high mortality (100% due to contact with 10% extract; Garedew et al., 2002). Furthermore exposure to extracts at concentrations as low as 0.5% caused narcotic effects leading to reduced heat production and metabolic rates (Garedew et al., 2002, 2003). These effects could influence the ability of mites to cope with other stressors (i.e. temperature changes, Garedew et al., 2003) or to successfully infest larval cells and maintain the normal course of the parasite’s population growth. Taking these findings into a field setting, we have been conducting an ongoing study on the effects of propolis on the reproductive success of V. destructor in field colonies. Colonies with experimentally controlled mite levels have been treated by painting the inside walls with propolis extracts (collected from colonies in Minnesota and Brazil) or by spraying empty combs with the propolis extract. Frames containing developing pupae infested with the parasitic mites were removed and percent infestations and reproductive success of mites within the cells were calculated. Preliminary results (M. Simone-Finstrom and M. Spivak, unpubl. data) suggest that the propolis treatments may reduce the number of mature females produced within a single cell. Altering this level of reproductive output would effectively reduce population growth of the parasites within a colony and hopefully reduce the need for the more caustic chemicals currently utilized as treatments against V. destructor. Furthermore, as a single propolis sample can contain up to 300 chemical components (i.e. Salatino et al., 2005), it may be more difficult for the mites to develop resistance against a suite of combined compounds."

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby moebees » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:52 pm

Good post Nordak. Marla Spivak has been talking about the benefits of propolis for several years. That is why I am going to line the inside of my polystyrene hives with 1/16 thick strips of wood to enhance propolization which is reduced in polystyrene hives.

Yes, I have finally decided on my hives. Most will probably think I am crazy but I am going with 6 frame deep polystyrene langstroths unlimited brood chamber. So I will have uniform frames and hive boxes throughout. Everything will be interchangeable. I will start with Mann Lake pf100 frames to regress them down and gradually introduce foundationless and eventually get rid of the plastic (doesn't help propolis either). Marla says they like cottonwood propolis and I have lots of big cottonwoods nearby so hopefully they will make lots of propolis. I have ordered a package of carniolians and will set swarm traps. I have been advertising for more locations to put hives but have had no luck yet. Since I am in an suburban setting I would like to have other options if problems arise. I see beeks on the forums talking about how they have more locations than they know what to do with but I am not having any luck at all.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby Nordak » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:32 pm

I don't think that sounds crazy at all. I like your way of thinking. The only worry I would have with polystyrene would be the breathable factor, but with some top ventilation that could easily offset. A quilt box comes to mind. I'm thinking 6 frame deeps make sense and would closer emulate what they do in the wild. Being made of polystyrene, they will be lighter than wood. R value should be phenomenal, and wood lining will only enhance that.

It's interesting you mention Cottonwood. Tons of Cottonwood around these parts.

Looking forward to hearing your progress. Keep me updated.

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby moebees » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:08 am

Thanks Nordak. I will update from time to time. I really enjoy reading about other peoples experiences if they are willing to post on the forums. The only thing I like on the other forum is the Squarepeg diary. It would be great to have more of that kind of thing.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby Nordak » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:22 am

Maybe you could start one here. I really enjoy reading other folks experiences as well. I'm just not detailed enough, or motivated enough to keep records, honestly. It would probably end up reading more like beekeeping musings.

Where are you getting your polystyrene?

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby moebees » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:48 am

I wouldn't mind doing that but probably might have the same problem of not being detailed enough. I tend not to write things down very well.

There are not allot of options for polystyrene in this country. Especially if you want something less than 10 frames. I got mine from Betterbee. The Lyson 6 frame nuc. The sides are only an inch thick compared to the 10 frame hives (if I remember correctly are 1 9/16 thick) but they are still probably 4 to 5 times the R value of 3/4 lumber (especially with hand holds cut out of it). I may also try making some out of the high density extruded polystyrene insulation. A beek in Michigan published plans on building nucs out of the xps insulation but he apparently has used them mainly for temporary frame storage when sorting through supers so I don't know how well it would work to use as a regular hive. I think I would probably have to reinforce the edges. With the Lyson hives I can add a few homemade supers and see how they work. Another option I think would be to buy 10 frame hives and cut them down. But I didn't want to try that first thing with no experience with the polystyrene. A couple of things I like about the Lyson are that the boxes latch together and the lids have ventilation holes that can be opened and closed.

I think this is probably a somewhat unique approach so if I can keep some detailed information maybe it would be interesting to report similar to what Squarepeg is doing.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby Nordak » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:40 am

I'd definitely be interested in hearing about it. I think polystyrene could be helpful in the heat of our summers. I might test one out TBH style one of these days, as my comb collapses were worse this year than they've ever been. Summer wasn't any worse than last year, but had 4x more comb collapse. Not sure what happened.

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby moebees » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:32 pm

Nordak wrote
Id definitely be interested in hearing about it. I think polystyrene could be helpful in the heat of our summers. I might test one out TBH style one of these days, as my comb collapses were worse this year than they've ever been. Summer wasn't any worse than last year, but had 4x more comb collapse. Not sure what happened.


I think it would help too. I see Les Crowder and southern guys with these flimsy metal covers (no offense if you have flimsy metal covers :lol: ) and think why not provide some better protection against temperature fluctuations. Especially in climates where it is hot in the day and cold at night. It isn't very expensive or difficult to do. Get a sheet of high density foam and cut strips and screw them on to the outside of your hives. If you get the foil covered kind you may not have even paint. As long as the bees can ventilate it should help allot. Do you have closed or open bottoms? I don't think open bottoms are a good idea either but that is something new since I had bees. We have bred the propolis out of them so we better provide more protection. I am planning to encourage them to propolize as much as they want.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby Nordak » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:44 pm

I think that will be a project I try. I'm hoping I can sell some nucs to put forward into a bit of experimenting next year, and this might be a route I go. I was looking at polystyrene insulation 8' board at 2" thick. That would be enough for a TBH experiment. Would probably utilize a wooden frame, something along the lines you were speaking of.

I have a couple of SBB, but don't use them anymore as I find the bees try to propolize the entirety of it. For my roofs, I typically use gabled with insulation when I have the time and resources, but have utilized fiberglass corrugated recently with some insulation over the top bars. I don't do metal sheets, as I think I'd have 10x the comb collapse. Les Crowder's design is probably much better in terms of collapse worry. If I had to do t over, I'd have followed his design.

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby moebees » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:13 pm

Here is a video of a modified European long hive. Modified to use Langstroth deeps. I don't know why you could not insulate your tbh like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWWZkUT ... e=youtu.be
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby Nordak » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:29 pm

That's something I could easily retrofit to my current TBHs. Not sure why I was thinking I would have to build from scratch. Sometimes I miss the simplest solutions.

Thanks for sharing. That hive is amazingly constructed. One of these days I hope to have the time and resources to build something similar. I really like my long hive thus far.

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby moebees » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:49 pm

Since I don't participate on Beesource I am responding to a comment you (Nordak) made in the propolis discussion over there.

Nordak wrote:
ou bring up a great point about propolis being mixed with wax. If it were to help, certainly it would help in the comb probably most of all. Your observation of old brood comb warrants note in that it might not be best to practice cull measures if indeed propolis is as beneficial as it appears to be.


According to Marla Spivak's work the propolis loses much of its vitality over the first winter so culling combs might actually be better if it stimulated new propolis deposition. Regardless, culling is probably not detrimental because new propolis needs to be added each season.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Propolis Benefits

Postby Nordak » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:42 pm

Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Moe. I generally pull, or try to pull my old brood combs on honey harvest or use for swarm traps. The propolis losing its vitality over time makes sense to me.


Return to “Scientific Research”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest