BeeVital produce the largest range of quality propolis products in the UK, backed up by decades of research managed by their own chemists and researchers. Their knowledge and understanding of the problems and opportunities are considerable and here share some of the background to the problems.
WHY THE BEES ARE DYING
In 2013 60p er-cent of all the honeybees in the United States died. Honeybees were leaving healthy hives and not coming back. It came to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
Basically, the bees gave up. The complex and mysterious glue that kept the colonies together lost its power and the superorganism that is the beehive fell apart. Colony Collapse Disorder is a symbol of what happens when you push nature to its limit. Eventually it gives up.
PROPOLIS: THE HONEYBEES’ IMMUNE SYSTEM
For human beings it’s our immune system that makes sure that everything works in harmony and steps in when there is imbalance. For the honeybee its propolis that performs this function. Propolis, a word coined by Aristotle, means ‘Defender of the City’.
Honeybees makes propolis from plant and tree resins. The resins produced by the poplar tree are a particular favourite for the bees in temperate climates. They process the resins through their enzymatic system and add wax. The result is propolis, a complex blend of around 300 biochemicals which the bees use to defend their colonies.
HOW THE BEES USE PROPOLIS
Bees build the entrance to the hive with propolis, creating an antibacterial tunnel through which all the bees pass. Propolis supports every cell in the honeycomb, without it the comb would not be able to carry its own weight.
HOW YOU CAN USE PROPOLIS
Propolis works in a similar way for humans as it does for the bees. Propolis is an adaptogen. It creates balance in the body, supporting our whole immune system. As well being able to disarm bacteria it keeps you well by supporting your body’s own ability to fight infections.
Propolis works as an antiviral by sealing up the protein coating of the virus preventing it from invading the cells it is in contact with. Coughs and colds are helped by propolis, as is fever and inflammation.
Its anti-inflammatory properties make propolis the gardener’s friend. Propolis capsules can be taken to treat inflammation, such as short or long-term joint problems. Propolis creams and gels can help heal those everyday gardeners’ cuts and bruises, as well as stopping hands from cracking.