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What They Do With Propolis

Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

"A snail had entered the hive and fixed itself against the glass side.

The bees, unable to penetrate it with their stings, the cunning

economists fixed it immovably, by cementing merely the edge of the

orifice of the shell to the glass with resin, (propolis), and thus it

became a prisoner for life." Now the instinct that prompts the

gathering of propolis in August, and filling every crack, flaw, or

inequality about the
hive, would cement the edges of the snail-shell to

the glass, and a small stone, block of wood, chip, or any substance

that they are unable to remove, would be fastened with it in the same

manner. The edges or bottom of the hive, when in close proximity to the

bottom, is joined to it with this substance. Whatever the obstacle may

be, it is pretty sure to receive a coating of this. The stoppers for

the holes at the top are held in their places on the same principle;

and the unaccountable sagacity that once fastened a little door, might

possibly be nothing more than the same instinct.

Another principle, I think, will be found to be universal with them,

instead of sagacious reasoning.

Whenever the combs in a hive have been broken, or when combs have been

added, as was mentioned in the chapter on fall management, the first

duty of the bees appears to be to fasten them as they are; when the

edges are near the side of the hive, or two combs in contact, a portion

of wax is detached and used for joining them together, or to the side.