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Products Found In A Bee Hive

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

Products found in a bee hive are propolis, beeswax, honey, nectar, and pollen. Propolis~ Bees use propolis around the entrance of their hive. The propolis has antimicrobial properties that disinfect the base of their legs (made up of a soft pad called the arolium, and claws.) The propolis helps keep them from bringing in harmful microbes and bacteria. Worker bees use propolis also to prepare a sterile place for the queen to lay her eggs. Worker bees use propolis to protect their hive from predators and to seal all the holes and gaps in their hive.

Propolis is also beneficial to humans. It possesses many beneficial properties such as the ability to reduce painful sensations, fight against viruses, and help regenerate damaged tissue. Used in many cosmetic and medicinal products such as ointments, toothpaste, creams, nasal spray, and throat lozenges. Some studies show that propolis may help to improve cancer treatments and treat allergies. Also used in varnishes, chewing gum, car wax, paints, and many other products.

Propolis will very depending on the plant sources. Generally on a basic level propolis contains plant resins, vegetable balsams, essential oils, wax, bee saliva, and pollen. Propolis is made up of many active compounds which have antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.

Beeswax: Worker bees secrete wax from eight glands on the inner side of the sternites on the abdomen. Sternites are the ventral shield or plate of each segment of the body. The sizes of the wax glands depend on the age of the worker bee. The old the bees and the more flights she makes may cause her wax glands to atrophy.

The new wax initially is clear until the bees begin to chew on it. It first turns white and will progressively become more yellow and brown as it ages due to the addition of pollen oils and propolis.

Wax scales are about 3 mm across and .1 mm thick. About 1100 wax scales are required to make 1 gram of wax.

Honeybees use beeswax to build their combs and provide homes for their baby bees and food storage.   For wax-making bees to secrete wax the desired hive temperature is between 91-97 degrees Fahrenheit. Nectar & Honey: Bees gather nectar from flowers and bring it back to their hive where they store it in wax cells and stir it with their proboscis as they fan their wings to evaporate out the moisture.  Once the moisture fully evaporates the nectar becomes honey and the bees cap it over with a beeswax cover. 

Pollen: Pollen is also known as bee bread.  Bees cover it with nectar to ferment the pollen which aids in digestion.  Bee bread is a super food.

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