Psalms from the Hive

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raw propolis

by Jeannie Saum

Harvesting propolis from the hive – Like mining gold from ore.

Claiming what’s of value, According to the lore

Saving all the sticky goo, Picking out the chaff

What bees use to sterilize, We can use to heal a rash.

 

 Clover, Bee, and Revery

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

We have been taught a new way to clean propolis, from our beekeeper friend Dwight.  He has  hundreds of hives and supplies us with a lot of propolis!  So we are updating this post with the news information about how to clean propolis.  Messy, but much easier than hand picking out all the debris!

Two Ways to Collect Propolis

  1. propolis2From spare hive bodies and frames (pulled off for winter) – Scrape propolis from hive bodies and frames using a hive tool.  Do it outside or in the garage.
    • It’s good to put down a drop cloth, because propolis tends to chip off and fly everywhere.  Using a hive cover turned upside down, to work over, catches most of it and drop cloth will catch the rest.
    • Don’t scrape all the propolis from hive bodies the bees are using!  They need it to keep the hive healthy.  As you inspect, only scrape away propolis that is in your way, or prevents you from getting frames back down in in the box!  S ave this propolis, too.
  2. propolis trap

    scraping propolis from a propolis trap

    Propolis traps -Put trap on top box of frames and block up lid with stick or thumb tacks- You have to do this to let light in, so they will fill up holes to block light.  Otherwise it is just up against the cover and they won’t fill it.  No inner cover needed.

    • Once trap is full, pull off, put  trap in large trash bag, and put in freezer.
    • Once frozen, you can bend, twist and whack most of the propolis off the trap, inside the bag.  
    • You still may need to scrape or pick some out of the trap using a hive tool.

Storage

  •  Keep any propolis you collect in a plastic bag or closed container in the freezer until you have finished collecting and are ready to clean it.  
  • Try not to let it get too warm or it will glob together.  Much easier to clean when crumbly in little pieces.

To Clean Propolis

WORK OUTSIDE!  Remember, whatever you use to do this, (except the garden hose), you will never be able use for anything else.  It must be dedicated to cleaning propolis, because you will never get it completely clean! You will need:

  • hammer
  • strong plastic bags or several grocery store bags
  • tarp,
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • garden hose
  • strainer or a piece of window screen for straining
  • rubber gloves if you don’t want propolis strains on your hands or under your nails
  • second  piece of window screen for drying out the propolis on.

Steps to Cleaning

breaking up frozen propolis

breaking up frozen propolis

  1. Work outside!  Lay out place outside with tarp if needed – don’t want propolis all over your walk or concrete driveway!
  2. Take propolis baggies out of freezer.Put baggie in stronger bags (feed bags work well) or layers of bags.  
  3. On a hard surface, smash the frozen propolis into the smallest pieces you can.20160511_151835
  4. Put an inch of water in the 5 gal. bucket so propolis won’t stick to bottom and put smashed propolis in the bucket. 
  5. Use the garden hose to fill the pot with cold water. Swish the propolis around with your hands several
    times.  This frees up the debris – like bee parts, beeswax, wood shavings, paint, etc.  Most of this will float.

    straining out debris

    straining out debris

  6. Let the propolis settle to the bottom. Add water slowly to the top of the bucket. Then skim the debris off the top with a wire strainer or screen.
  7. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until no more debris floats to the top. ( You will never get ALL the debris out.  There may still be tiny pieces of paint or whatever.  This will be strained out in the infusing process)
  8. pouring propolis onto screen to dry

    pouring propolis onto screen to dry

    Pour off most of the water, leaving the propolis in the bucket.

    stirring propolis as it dries

    stirring propolis as it dries

  9. Place a piece of screen on a board, cookie sheet, or patio table and pour the propolis onto the screen, allowing the water to drain off and the propolis the dry. Every so often mix the propolis on the screen to help speed up dry process.
  10. Once completely dried, then put propolis in quart to gallon size freezer bag and freeze until ready to mail!

 

Selling Propolis

Call us to let us know you are ready to send propolis.  We pay $30 a pound for clean propolis.  Less if we have to clean it. 614-450-2339

Mail to:  BEEpothecary, 3320 Toy Road, Groveport, OH 43125

Please add a card or note with your name, phone number, address, and the weight of propolis you are sending.  We will inspect it, weigh it and then send you a check. If we have any question we will call you right away.

Making Your Own  Propolis Infusions

 

There are instructions on other posts on this blog site, that tell you how to make prop

infusing propolis at home

infusing propolis at home

olis oil or tincture.  Just search those topics to find our how-to.  Be forewarned from our own experience – making propolis at home for your own use is perfectly legal.  But in order to sell it, one must make it in an FDA/ODA ( or your state) certified production space, follow labeling laws for dietary

 

supplements, and let your state’s Dept. of AG. know what you intend to do.  Lots of hoops to jump through.

Be sure that whatever you use to make your own tincture or infused oil in, it needs to be a container you don’t care about and with utensils you don’t need to reclaim!  You won’t be able to ever get them clean again! Just plan on dedicating them to the making of propolis products.

And, you can reuse the propolis several times.  Just add a little more to replace the weight of what was infused in the first batch.  You can test the viability of propolis by putting a tsp. of the used propolis you’ve filtered out, into a cup of milk and let it sit out for 3-4 days.  If the milk doesn’t spoil, the propolis is still good.

Propolis Infusions

Propolis Infusions

If you don’t want to make your own, you can get the amazing benefits of propolis by purchasing any of our products.  Go to our online market using the link/tab at the top of the page.

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Deuteronomy 28 

1 “Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all His commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth.

All these blessings will come and overtake you, because you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
Your descendants will be blessed, and your land’s produce, and the offspring of your livestock, including the young of your herds and the newborn of your flocks.
Your basket and kneading bowl will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

“The Lord will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you. They will march out against you from one direction but flee from you in seven directions.

The Lord will grant you a blessing on your storehouses and on everything you do. He will bless you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as His holy people, as He swore to you, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.

10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by Yahweh’s name, and they will stand in awe of you.

11 The Lord will make you prosper abundantly with children, the offspring of your livestock, and your land’s produce in the land the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.

12 The Lord will open for you His abundant storehouse, the sky, to give your land rain in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow.

13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward if you listen to the Lord your God’s commands I am giving you today and are careful to follow them.

14 Do not turn aside to the right or the left from all the things I am commanding you today, and do not go after other gods to worship them.

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