WHAT IS BEE PROPOLIS? Propolis is a substance made by the honeybee that provides protection against harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. Propolis is plant resin collected by bees for use in and around the hive. In plants it is usually the sticky coating around buds that serves to protect them from the elements of weather plus from attack by bacteria, fungi, molds, and viruses. These are properties that are useful to the bees and are enhanced by the sticky properties of the propolis beeglue. Like pollen, propolis beeglue is a bee product that cannot be clearly defined and varies from sample to sample. This is a natural outcome of the collection process. Propolis collecting bees will use resins from a large variety of tree and other plant species, and these naturally will differ in their qualitative and quantitative chemical composition. Nevertheless, different bee propolis extract samples do share considerable similarity in their physical and overall general chemical nature. Hundreds of chemical compounds have been identified from bee propolis extract. The main chemical classes present in propolis are flavonoids, phenolics, and various aromatic compounds. Bee propolis extract also contains some volatile oils, terpenes, and beeswax, but these compounds are not believed to contribute as significantly to the chemical properties and effects of propolis. Flavonoids are well-known plant compounds that have antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other properties of propolis beeglue include acting as a local anesthetic, reducing spasms, healing gastric ulcers, and strengthening capillaries. HOW MUCH PROPOLIS DO I TAKE? The FDA has not determined any guidelines for taking bee propolis products. It is generally recommended that you take from 1 to 3 (250mg) capsules daily as a dietary supplement.