Packin’ propolis

I am pleased to share another photo from Louisiana beekeeper Robert Lunsford who, earlier this year, sent awesome images of chimney bees. Today’s photo shows a honey bee fanning in front of her hive while carrying a full load of propolis. I love the way the light glows through the big, gooey drops. Better still is the shadow cast by her fast moving wings. The shadow takes on a surreal shape, probably the result of the figure-eight pattern of her wing movement. All in all, a great shot. Thanks, Robert!


Honey bee with a load of propolis. Photo © Robert Lunsford.


  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bee packing propolis, not that I’ve recognized as such at least. There’s not a doubt the DOFT are getting it somewhere though!

    I wonder if propolis is an opportunistic harvest item or a signaled shopping item? As well, how do they clean up after the run?

    Great action and shadow shot. 🙂

    Kent WA

  • I’m looking for an eco friendly propolis. Usa harvested. I want to support us bee keepers. Unfortunately the ones on the internet either come from china or are usa made but will not tell me how they care for their bees.

    Any suggestions? You would be surprised how many come from china …even the ones that say eco friendly like y.s. honey brand. Heard that a lot of Chinese company’s are buying up smaller company’s in new Zealand and sending product back to China to be cut with their honey and resold. Even the Manuka rating system is a sham. I need the propolis for my lymes disease.

    Would love some help. Not very good at the internet or technology.
    Thank you .

  • Hi Cricket,

    Look for a mid-size local beekeeper. Maybe at the local farmers market. Google local beekeeper or local honey. Offer to help get supers cleaned and ready for the next year or help clean up dead-outs in the spring.

    Tell them you would like to take some of the propolis home for your needs. I would bite on that offer, nice to have help for some of the more repetitive tasks. Don’t overlook the next most logical answer, “become a beekeeper.” There are propolis traps you could put on 2 or 3 smaller hives to accommodate your needs OR if you were able to develop a relationship with a beekeeper maybe you could provide cost relief for the propolis trap to use on one of the beekeeper’s hives and just occasionally go pick it up to remove the propolis at your leisure.

  • I’m selling a purified propolis right now at $0.50 per gram. I don’t have a huge supply. I’ve just started collecting and purifying it by dissolving it in alcohol and dewaxing it.

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