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FROM INSECTS| Bees | Samples

The PROPOLIS is a bio degradable resin that honey bees collect from different trees and use as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the beehive. Its color depends of the forests and botanical sources used in the collection by the honey bees. The most common one is brown, but there are plenty of variations in colors and properties. I chose to work with  a black propolis from rubber trees. The propolis, at its first stage, is a mix of between 50 to 150 different components (wax, balsams, resins, pollen, essential oils…)

To be able to have a pure sample of the material, I had  to clean the propolis. I did this by heating all the substances together in a large bowl of water. Thanks to the boiling point the wax and all the others substances will emerge at the surface of the water. It is the process of extracting the propolis from its natural stage.

Once a year the beekeeper has to remove a bit of the propolis in order to extract the honey from the frames of the beehive. We are talking about small quantities, which are less than 100 grammes per hive per year.  My father is a beekeeper and he has 500 beehives. To give you a precise idea, from his production I can take only 30 -50 kilograms per year. It is thus a really precious and unique material.