Standard methods for Apis mellifera propolis research

Vassya Bankova, Davide Bertelli, Renata Borba, Bruno José Conti, Ildenize Barbosa da Silva Cunha, Carolina Danert, Marcos Nogueira Eberlin, Soraia I Falcão, María Inés Isla, María Inés Nieva Moreno, Giulia Papotti, Milena Popova, Karina Basso Santiago, Ana Salas, Alexandra Christine Helena Frankland Sawaya, Nicolas Vilczaki Schwab, José Maurício Sforcin, Michael Simone-Finstrom, Marla Spivak, Boryana TrushevaMiguel Vilas-Boas, Michael Wilson, Catiana Zampini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Propolis is one of the most fascinating honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) products. It is a plant derived product that bees produce from resins that they collect from different plant organs and with which they mix beeswax. Propolis is a building material and a protective agent in the bee hive. It also plays an important role in honey bee social immunity, and is widely used by humans as an ingredient of nutraceuticals, over-the-counter preparations and cosmetics. Its chemical composition varies by geographic location, climatic zone and local flora. The understanding of the chemical diversity of propolis is very important in propolis research. In this manuscript, we give an overview of the available methods for studying propolis in different aspects: propolis in the bee colony; chemical composition and plant sources of propolis; biological activity of propolis with respect to bees and humans; and approaches for standardization and quality control for the purposes of industrial application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-49
Number of pages49
JournalJournal of Apicultural Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © 2016 International Bee Research Association.


  • Apis mellifera
  • biological activity
  • chemical composition
  • honey bee
  • plant sources
  • propolis
  • quality control
  • standardization


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