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What Used For

Categories: PROPOLIS.
Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

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

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.