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Request for propolis

Propolis is the dark, sticky substance which bees collect from the buds, leaves and branches of plants. It is used by some bees to protect their nests from enemies such as ants, and in hives it is used to seal cavities and cover debris which cannot be removed from the hive. Propolis seems to be gathered to a greater extent by bees found in temperate zones, than by honeybees in the tropics and subtropics. Because relatively little is known about propolis compared with other hive products, and in particular propolis of tropical origin has not been studied, Dr Sami Khalid, of the University of Khartoum, has started research on the chemical and medicinal properties of propolis. Dr Khalid wants to compare propolis from as many different tropical origins as possible, and hopes that readers of the Newsletter will help by sending him samples of propolis (any amount from 1 g to 1 kg!). To prevent any possibility of the spread of disease, samples must be well wrapped and sealed and completely free from wax or any other contaminating material.

All samples will be destroyed after analysis and will not come into contact with bees.

It can be extremely difficult to identify the source of propolis used by bees, but it would be useful for Dr Khalid to know the type of habitat your bees forage over (e.g. miombo woodland, agricultural land, forest etc.).

Dr Sami A. Khalid, Dept of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Khartoum, Sudan.