Did you realise your beehive was a multi product factory? Not only can you harvest honey and honeycomb and beeswax (assembled escape boards, 8 way escapes and plastic porter escapes provided to empty your supers of the bees to begin your harvest) BUT there are also other goodies!
Did you know?
Propolis is an essential substance in the life of the hive that bees use for many purposes.
control of the flight hole opening according to climatic variation
weather proofing the hive by blocking holes to insulate against wind and rain
coating the interior walls of the hive to remove irregularities
as a disinfectant, spreading a very thin film inside the cells before the queen comes to lay
mixed with wax and used to “embalm” small animals or insects which have been killed by the bees but are too large for the bees to remove.
To harvest propolis:
(Depending on the breed it can be more than 300g per year) the beekeeper can use several methods –
simply scrape queen excluder, undersides of hive mats and feeders, interior walls of hives (excluding bottom trays which are too dirty). Unfortunately the propolis obtained this way is full of impurities and wood debris.
use our propolis mats. Sit on top of the super and after a while the bees will have closed up the grid holes with propolis deposits. This is easily collected by freezing the mat then rolling it to loosen the deposits. If you wish to easily produce a powder then put the propolis fragments through a coffee grinder while still very cold. Store in light proof containers away from heat.
Pollen – Did you know?
Pollen is the main source of nutrition for the larvae. It provides the protein necessary for them to mature. Because pollen is rich in protein, it can be harvested, dried and consumed by us.
However, before harvesting it is wise to ensure that the bees have enough for their needs.