Where did the name Propolis came from ?
From two Greek words. πρò (pro) = before & πòλης (polis) = city. The ancient Greeks did not fail to observe the bees and their architectural styles which concerned the protection of the bee colony. When the Greeks observed the strange substance that the bees placed before (pro) at the entrance of the bee hive, to protect their city (polis) and its inhabitants (the bees) from enemies, they named it pro-polis giving the most apt name for its defensive using.
Man"s use of Propolis has a very long hitory predated only by the discovery of honey over 10000 years ago. Unlike many "natural" agents is an extencive database on the biological and toxicity of Propolis indicating that is may have many antibiotic,antifungal and antiviral properties. Propolis is increasingly used as an ingredient of dietary supplements etc.
At first, lets see with short words, what Propolis is and where comes from
Plants and Trees cover their buds and tender leaves, with a thin resin membrane to protect from any kind of attak. This resinous membrane is collected by bees from willows, pines, chestnuts, oaks, poplars trees etc. The bees mixed this plant resins with secretions from their salivary gland, producing finally that sticky stabstance, the Propolis.
Propolis is a multifunctional material and bees use it for some important reasons:
• For the generally construction and maintenance of their beehives.
• To shrink the entrance of the hive, shutting outside the dangerous enemies. *(but not successfully all of them).
• To seal their hive from cracks or holes, protecting the colony from weather conditions and temprature.
• To sterilize the entire hive to avoid microbes, diseases and infections.
• To sterilize the hexagonal wox cells, to store honey and eggs. To prepare the Royal rooms, in which the queen will give birth.
* Mice and lizards can enter the hive by destroying the barrier that bees have made using propolis. Bees exterminate the enemies with their sting but is impossible to carry them outside of their colony. So they cover the inanimate rodens using Propolis, mummifying them. With this process the bee colony remains completely safe. When the beekeeper visit the hive, he removes the roden out of the beehive.
Propolis comprises resins,balms,waxes,assential oils,pollen and organic and inorganic substances. Researchers have indetified more than 300 compounds in Propolis.The majority of these compounds are forms of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that fight disease and damage in the human body.