Propolis - Ethiopia

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Ethiopia: It is known, that propolis can be harvested from every hive type and 95% of Ethiopian beekeepers use traditional hives. [1] [2] [3] While the yield of propolis is higher in traditional hives, the quality is lower due to a contamination of pure propolis with beeswax, hive debris or body parts of bees. [2] Nuru et al. (2002) conducted a study, where propolis production was induced in traditional and in modern hive-systems. They exposed the hives to the external environmental conditions, by creating gaps within the hive. Bees show the behavior of filling those openings and, as prior expected, the propolis yield was higher in manipulated hive-systems. They found not only a correlation between the data of local weather stations and the propolis production, but also a significantly higher amount of harvested propolis in traditional, compared to modern bee hives. The authors claim, that small, cost effective methods can help to increase the outcome significantly. [2] Thus, this simple method may be used to increase the propolis yield of small scale beekeepers. Similar to pollen, the Holeta Bee Research Center and the Ministry of Agriculture and International Livestock Research Institute communicated, that there is no business for propolis, but beekeepers sometimes harvest it for home consumption (medical use). [4]


  1. Gidey, Y., & Mekonen, T. (2010). Participatory Technology and Constraints Assessment to Improve the Livelihood of Beekeepers in Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia. Momona Ethiopian Journal of Science, 2(1), 76-92.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nuru, A., Hepburn, H. R., & Radloff, S. E. (2002). Induction of propolis production by Apis mellifera bandasii in traditional basket and Langstroth movable-frame hives in Ethiopia. Journal of Apicultural Research, 41(3-4), 101–106.
  3. Taye, B., Desta, A., Girma, C., & Mekonen, W. T. (2016). Evaluation of transitional and modern hives for honey production in the Mid Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa, 64(1), 157–165.
  4. MoA & ILRI (2013). Apiculture value chain vision and strategy for Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Ministry of Agriculture and International Livestock Research Institute.