Propolis harvest

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Note: Most of the content was retrieved from the books "Beekeeping Manual for beginners" by Holeta Bee Research Center and the APIRE project [1]. and from "Advanced Beekeeping Manual by Ethiopian Beekeepers Association and Netherlands Development Organization (SNV-Ethiopia).[2]

Propolis is a sticky, aromatic, dark-coloured and resinous material that honey bees collect from living plants. They mix it with way and use it as construction material. They repair cracks in the beehive, mummify larger organisms entering the beehive and cannot be transported outside and cover the inside of cells. Propolis has a strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial effect and is a valuable bee product for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries that contributes to the beekeeper’s income. Propolis can be harvested from all types of hives. It is often found around the hive entrances, between bottom and super chamber, between frames, in holes and cracks. Intentionally making holes and cracks in the hive increases propolis production (figure below). For modern beehives special propolis collection grids exist. The bees seal the holes of the grid and by cooling it down, the propolis gets easy to remove. In traditional hives, special opening that cover the entrances of the hives are mounted. The harvested product should be free of impurities like wood, dust, way or dung.



  1. Holeta (unknown date). Beekeeping Manual for beginners.
  2. Ethiopian Beekeepers Association & SNV (2011). Advanced Beekeeping Manual. Express Printers PLC, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.