The Benefits of Propolis to Honey Bees; Newest Data – a talk by Marla Spivak
November 17 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm GMT
This event will be a virtual event, hosted on Zoom.
CABK members and Non-members are welcome to attend.
Registration for this event will open in September
Marla Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Her research efforts focus on protecting and enhancing the health of honey bees, and on propagating floral rich landscapes to support all pollinators.
“Benefits of Propolis to Honey Bees: Newest Data”
Apis mellifera collects resins from plants and deposits the resins in the nest cavity where they are called propolis. Resins are antimicrobial, secondary plant compounds composed of volatile and non-volatile terpenoids and/or phenolics that protect plants against infection. When colonies of A. mellifera nest in tree cavities, they line the nest interior with a propolis envelope, which serves many purposes, including waterproofing and preventing fungal decay of the hive walls. Colonies in standard beekeeping equipment made of smooth wood do not construct a propolis envelope. Our research shows that honey bees exploit the antimicrobial properties of resins to supplement individual immune function and fight off microorganisms and pathogens. Our studies on the microbiome communities revealed that a propolis envelope promoted the proliferation of beneficial microbes that support immune function.
Trials in a commercial beekeeping operation using specially constructed rough-interior boxes that stimulated the bees to make a propolis envelope resulted in large colony populations, and did not affect honey production. In general, encouraging honey bees to construct a propolis envelope has many benefits to colony health.