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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes) Association aims to explain and prevent massive honey bee colony losses. It was funded through the COST Action FA0803. COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a unique means for European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all scientific disciplines through trans-European networking of nationally funded research activities. Based on a pan-European intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology, COST has contributed since its creation more than 40 years ago to closing the gap between science, policy makers and society throughout Europe and beyond. COST is supported by the EU Seventh Framework Program for research, technological development and demonstration activities (Official Journal L 412, 30 December 2006). The European Science Foundation as implementing agent of COST provides the COST Office through an EC Grant Agreement. The Council of the European Union provides the COST Secretariat. The COLOSS network is now supported by the Ricola Foundation?Nature & Culture.
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- Apis mellifera
- biological activity
- chemical composition
- honey bee
- plant sources
- quality control