Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Grown Up Girl

Propolis for feathered friends?

Absolutely!  It’s amazing!

Use it on their little legs

Or down their beaks

For soothing!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

If you don’t yet know what propolis is, from visiting our blog – here’s the short, sweet version.  Propolis is a  sticky  substance made by the honeybees from tree resin they collect from buds and bark.  They use it to sterilize their hive by coating all surfaces with it.  Over 50 years of research has shown that it has amazing healing effects – it is antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.   It is used all over the world for its medicinal and healing properties.

Our website is dedicated to bringing you valid information about this amazing natural substance and citing research to back it up.  Recently, we had a question about using propolis for our pets and farm animals.  So, here is our first installment on propolis for animals – a   (rather dry) compilation of research on propolis’ use to treat birds – our feathered pets and poultry.  If you don’t need all the (paraphrased) medical jargon and cited research, just skip to the last two paragraphs for the down and dirty!

ParakeetPropolis is a safe anti-viral and anti-bacterial treatment that can be used with avians.  Its beneficial and safe action on the immune system make it useful as a  prophylactic  treatment, as well.   Propolis contains amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and can be a  valuable food supplement.
The Department of Biochemistry at Oxford University and School of Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton did studies on the use of propolis to treat avian  infections  caused by three types of bacteria – gram-positive Bacillus subtillis, gram negative E-coli and Rhodobacter sphaeroides.  Propolis was shown to be effective against these bacteria.

Herpes simplex type-1 (HSV-1) or a mutant strain, is thought to be  responsible for many herpes-type symptoms in animals and birds.   Scientific tests showed that propolis was three percent more effective against HSV-1 than “synthetic” drug treatment, without the harmful side effect!  The Oxford University report concluded that propolis may  have an important anti-inflammatory effect and that the substance  can strongly effect a positive immune and inflammatory response.

One hundred and six strains of S. aureus were tested with propolis  and all of them were susceptible to 0.5-1.0 mg propolis/ml.  Strains resistant antibiotics were also successfully treated with propolis (Shub, et al, 1981).  Propolis was shown to be effective against S. epidermidis  in a study by Glinnik and Gapanovich, 1981.CAM00001

The antiviral activity of propolis was shown as effective against some avian viruses  –  infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), reovirus (RV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), larngotracheitis virus (LTV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV). This study was carried out and reported by A. G. Hegazi1, F. K. Abd El Hady and A.A. Faraghli, Departments of Zoonotic Diseases and Chemistry of Natural Products, National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt and the Animal Health Research Institute, Dokki, Giza, Egypt, 2008.

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Studies on  Liver Protective in Chicken by  Giurgea et al. in 1981, 1982, 1984   and Giurgea et al ., 1982 reported that daily administration of a .02% propolis extract to chickens for 15 days increased plasma total protein and gamma -globulin content,  changed the blood concentration of cholesterol, transaminase (ALT & AST), amino acids, reduced  the glycogen level, and  increased  the myofibril, protein fraction and muscle total protein   They suggested  that propolis had an anabolic effect, which means the process of metabolism in which simple building blocks of energy are synthesized into the complex tissues of organisms. So in other words, propolis has a positive effect on the metabolism, helping to use energy to make new tissue.  Propolis also stimulates the body’s immune response.

In a study done by Teterev, in 1998, propolis was shown to protect against paratyphoid fever of ducks by feeding with a 50 % propolis water extract.  This study also showed wound healing with a 5% solution of propolis in oil.  In a study by Krell in 1996, propollis was shown effective in weight gain programs for  egg-laying hens.  Sforcin’s study in 2007 showed that propolis can stimulate higher antibody production, when used along with vaccines.

Fresh from the hen house!

Fresh from the hen house!

A study by Duran Ozkok, Kaan M. Iscan and Sibel Silici, 2013. Effects of Dietary Propolis Supplementation on Performance and Egg Quality in Laying Hens. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 2013 showed that treating chickens with propolis did not cause any negative effect on performance, egg quality or survival rate. 

The Down and Dirty Summary

Propolis is being used by veterinarians and owners to treat pet birds and poultry  for infection, viruses, inflammation, gastrointestinal upset, lung conditions, skin conditions, wounds, and burns.  It is also being used as a health supplement, to increase immunity and as a preventative.  Propolis is a botanically-based, natural substance that is safe to use without the harmful side effects of artificially made medicines.  It does not affect the healthy organisms and tissue in the body while working against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and inflammation.

BEEpothecary Propolis Tincture

Hive and Honey BEEpothecary Propolis Tincture

Propolis tincture and infused oil (which can be found through “Our Products” page can be given to your feathered friends orally to treat internal ailments like gastrointestinal problems (vomiting, diarrhea), lung problems (coughing, wheezing) colds, and viruses or for preventative supplement. Our propolis tincture and oil is a 10% solution.  Since birds are considerably smaller,  1-4% solutions are what has been used in research cited.  Our recommendation is to dilute each dose with water – 1 part propolis tincture or oil to between 2.5 and  10 parts water.

                                     

                 example:  2 drops of propolis tincture and 5 drops of water = a 4% solution; 

                                   2 drops of propolis tincture and 20 drops of water = 1%

We are considering making  an animal strength propolis in the future, but for now, you’ll have to dilute our human strength propolis oil and tincture!   Propolis wound salve can be used on your birds externally for cuts, wounds, rashes and burns. It doesn’t matter if the origin is bacterial, viral or fungal – propolis will take care of it all!Propolis & Herb Wound salve

So, the next time your pet bird or poultry is sick – try propolis!

HEALTH – POWERED BY BEES – for our feathered friends, too!

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord,   how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants  you have established a stronghold against your enemies,  to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,  the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,  human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels  and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,

the birds in the sky,  and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,  how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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