Propolis is all the resinous substances that bees gather from trees and then transform. In ancient Greek "pro" means in front of and "polis" means city; therefore the propolis is in front of the city of bees.
In our regions, the tree species known to produce propolis are mainly various conifers (pine, fir, spruce), several poplar species (which are the largest source), willow, horse chestnut, birch, ash, oak and elm. Therefore, its colour is quite variable since it depends on the resins used and this can vary from light yellow to dark brown.
In each bee colony, a certain number of pollen-gathering bees are specialised in gathering propolis. This is then used for construction, repairs, varnishing, sterilisation of the cell combs and for covering and embalming dead bees. Apiarists simply remove a part without harming the colony.
Propolis stored in properly closed suitable containers is easily preserved without any special requirements.
In most cases, propolis is presented in the form of a paste for chewing, diverse sizes of bits, tablets, granules or powder. But it is also combined with medicinal substances, health food products and cosmetic products.
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