Propolis, as you can imagine, comes ... from the hive. But its origin is much more complex than that, because this material is not directly produced by the Bee.
Propolis is a resinous substance collected by a small number of bees: field bees (oldest and most experienced bees of the hive). They perform only the activity of unusual and tedious harvesting. Their mission is confined to collect the resin located at the apical buds of various plant species (such as poplar, birch, alder, elm, beech and some conifers.
The field bee, with its mandibles, will take and shape resins before putting them on trays of its hind legs. The bee will take several hours to develop his ball of propolis and will return to the hive, to refuel. At the end of harvest, it goes and comes to stay where propolis should be used.
Therefore, the workers will take the necessary quantities of propolis by stretching wire until it breaks. Because of the viscosity and tackiness of propolis, it is rare that it is used in this condition. Thus, to avoid sinking, which would be fatal to other bees of the colony, the workers will incorporate the wax by pharyngeal pummelling to give malleable texture, but enough rigid for the product: the final result of this work is Propolis!
First, the beekeeper must harvest it: for this he can either use specific grids that bees coat with Propolis or scrape his hives regularly to recover it.
In the end, it is a complex substance containing many impurities, which is recovered from the hive. Raw propolis contains wood scrap, dead bees, plant residues, and sometimes studs ..., it is also absolutely necessary to purify it. After several complex steps, there remains only the active ingredient. This material will be unchanged used or processed by laboratories to make extracts and finished products.