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What Used For

Category: PROPOLIS.

This substance is first used to solder up all the cracks, flaws, and
irregularities about the hive. A coat is then spread over the inside
throughout; when the hive is full, and many bees cluster outside, the
latter part of summer, a coat of it is also spread there. An additional
coat it seems is annually applied, as old hives will be coated with a
thickness proportionate to its age, providing it has been occupied with
a strong family. Huber has said it was also used to strengthen the
cells when first made, by mixing it with the wax. If it was their
practice at that time, the practice has been abandoned by our bees to a
great extent. I have made examinations when comb was first made, when
it contained eggs, and when it contained larvae, and have never been
able to find anything other than pure wax composing it. After a young
bee has matured in a cell, the coating or cocoon that it leaves is of a
dark color, somewhat resembling it, and may have given rise to the
supposition. How the article is obtained, appears to be the mystery.
This is a subject about which apiarians have failed to agree. A few
contend that it is an elaborated substance; while others assert it to
be a resinous gum, exuding from certain trees, and collected by the
bees like pollen. It differs materially from wax, being more tenacious,
and when it gets a little age, much harder.

Next: Is It An Elaborate Or Natural Substance?

Previous: Remarks

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