Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Bees on the poplars

We've spoken before of bees on the walnut tree and today it was the turn of the poplars.

Fifty six poplars mark the boundary of three sides of the garden and today they are humming with the sound of bees.

Upon investigation we learned that they are collecting a resinous mixture called Propolis. You can see the resin on the surface of the leaves. First thing this morning it wasn't particularly sticky but and as it warms up in  the sun it becomes more so.

Poplar resin, or propolis, is rich in flavonoids and its biological role is to seal wounds and defend against bacteria, fungi and insects.

As for the bees, propolis is believed to
  1. reinforce the structural stability of the hive
  2. reduce vibration
  3. make the hive more defensible by sealing alternate entrances
  4. prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive, and to inhibit bacterial growth
  5. prevent putrefaction within the hive. Bees usually carry waste out of and away from the hive. However if a small lizard or mouse, for example, found its way into the hive and died there, bees may be unable to carry it out through the hive entrance. In that case, they would attempt instead to seal the carcass in propolis, essentially mummifying it and making it odourless and harmless 

In view of all these properties, perhaps we should consider setting up in partnership with the bees and marketing Braye Propolis...after all, it's all in a day's work for your average bee!

1 comment:

GaynorB said...


Fifty six poplar trees = a lot of leaves.......