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Author Topic: Selling propolis  (Read 3123 times)
beehappy1950
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« on: December 27, 2012, 12:27:30 PM »

Just wondering how profitable it can be selling propolis and whether it is even worth the effort. Harold
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Jeanette
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 08:42:05 PM »

Harold - just a couple of questions...

Are you thinking to sell the propolis direct to the public or to a manufacturer (for inclusion in medical products, timber varnishes, etc)?

If you can identify and sell to a specific manufacturer or two, you wouldn't have to spend as much effort on the marketing side of selling (as compared to selling direct to the public).

If you were to sell to the general public, would you prefer to sell propolis 'raw' or would you 'value add'? For example, blend it with something else and call it car wax.
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Jeanette
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beehappy1950
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 10:12:01 PM »

So far I have just been selling honey. I know nothing about propolis except it will make my eyes swell almost shut in spring. I think it would take a bushel basket of the stuff to amount to much if you were selling by the pound. Just thinking.
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tefer2
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 11:02:35 PM »

It doesn't take a lot to make some money off it. Raw clean propolis goes for about $ 60 to $70 a pound. Cleaning propolis can turn out to be a bunch of work. It's hard to do with your eyes swelled shut too.
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bernsad
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 12:10:57 AM »

How do you clean it?
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kdm
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 05:37:51 PM »

My mentor,long gone, sold some , and said the best way that he found to clean it was to get it very cold and crush it . then put it in cold water. He said the wax and wood would float to the top and propolis will sink to the bottom.
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deknow
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 06:02:56 PM »

I was at a talk a few years ago given by a manufacturer of propolis products for humans.  Their testing (in the UK) showed all propolis samples to contain lead.  The govt demanded either they remove the lead before selling, or the govt would mandate it be done.  As far as I know, the name brand stuff is all dissolved in alcohol and filtered many, many times before being sold for human use.

deknow
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bernsad
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2012, 09:34:45 PM »

Did they say what the source of lead was?
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lazy shooter
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 09:37:10 AM »

Not that I care about selling propolis, but how in the world do you harvest it?  Do you take a putty knife and simply pull it from where the bees have placed it?
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tefer2
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 10:16:19 AM »

Buy some propolis traps from one of the bee suppliers.
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beehappy1950
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2012, 10:36:43 AM »

LAZY SHOOTER. Go to google and punch in harvesting propolis. Dont be lazy. Wink
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lazy shooter
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2012, 01:40:50 PM »

BeeHappy1950:

LAZY SHOOTER. Go to google and punch in harvesting propolis. Dont be lazy. Wink

Thanks for reminding me of google.  I am recovering from knee replacement and only have about 16 hours a day of free time.  I am way to lazy to harvest and clean propolis.  All I ever wanted from bees was honey, and a "good feeling for my naturalist being."  I'm a hobbyist and don't care about making a profit, but I find all things about bees to be interesting, including all aspects of propolis.

I want my bees to strengthen my native weeds and brush via pollination, and I think that my bees will produce some swarms into the environment.  I'm not encouraging swarming, but one of my hives swarmed last year.  I was real OK with letting a swarm into our ranch country.  I am hoping to produce a couple of hundred pints of honey this year.  I will give it to friends and some charitable organizations.  At 73 years of age, I do not anticipate my bees ever becoming a profitable venture. 
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tefer2
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 01:50:48 PM »

I guess we could all just use Google search. Then there would be no reason for all of us to hang out in here and talk about our addiction. bee
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edward
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2012, 02:15:26 PM »

I guess we could all just use Google search. Then there would be no reason for all of us to hang out in here and talk about our addiction. bee

 grin But then when we search with google it cant direct us to the massive knowledge contained at beemaster.com  grin


mvh edward  tongue
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duck
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2012, 03:17:31 PM »

get a plastic queen excluder and place on top of hive where inner cover would be.  Then take a bottom board, turn it upside down on top of queen excluder.  Then put the telescoping cover on top.  The bees will use it as a top entrance, and will propolise all the holes in the excluder.  Then you take it off when its closed up, put the excluder in the freezer.  after its frozen, put the excluder in a trash bag and tie it up. slam the excluder on the floor or a table, the propolis will bust apart from the excluder.  put it back on the hive.  when you winterize pull the excluder and put your inner cover back on.
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lazy shooter
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2012, 08:53:39 PM »

If bees use their energy to produce additional propolis, one would think it would cut back on their honey production.   
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AllenF
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2012, 07:59:09 PM »

I bought a dozen propolis traps a few years back to give them a try and see what I could make.   Easy to make and collect.  Just never make tons of the stuff.   Never really had buyers either.  Traps are in the basement covered in propolis from that first year.   Honey sells for me.   
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BjornBee
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2012, 10:35:28 PM »

I was at a talk a few years ago given by a manufacturer of propolis products for humans.  Their testing (in the UK) showed all propolis samples to contain lead.  The govt demanded either they remove the lead before selling, or the govt would mandate it be done.  As far as I know, the name brand stuff is all dissolved in alcohol and filtered many, many times before being sold for human use.

deknow

Ok. So it was a manufacturer of propolis products that told everyone else (in a round about way) that ALL propolis (that THEY had tested....probably one sample....their own) contained lead. I bet a few beekeepers decided based on those tidbits to forget about propolis. Makes you wonder about why they would mention lead.   

They probably scraped the edges of painted boxes. Other than that, how could a pure product produced by bees contain lead. This is not the way to collect propolis. And I highly doubt the bees had lead in the propolis as they brought it into the hive.

Of course, they are not the only producer doing this. Anybody asking how to, or suggesting using water to clean the propolis of wood and wax, probably should not be producing it. If you need to freeze, crush, and use water to separate the junk, are they really producing propolis in a proper way? I would so no.

I sell propolis to two main buyers. They buy most of my propolis and I call when I have a few pounds. If I have some extra, I sell it by the quarter pound, for 48 dollars per pound. I sell all I can produce.

From the comments sent to me from buyers, they must buy some real crap from others. Because they say it is some of the best they have bought. And I don't do much to clean it beyond some bee legs and such. But I do not scrape the box edges to produce it.


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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2012, 11:36:55 PM »

Mike,
Thanks for that reply. What technique do you use to collect the propolis?
Jim
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BjornBee
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 07:06:47 AM »

Mike,
Thanks for that reply. What technique do you use to collect the propolis?
Jim

In just the normal work that we do, we come across chunks from time to time. The biggest part is having a jar or can to throw it in, instead of throwing it away. We try to do most of our cleaning at two places where we can work at a table which really helps. We sometimes clean up frame ends and nucs so they also look a bit better before they go out the door. It just comes down to if we see enough propolis built up to make it worth our efforts to knock it off, it's worth putting it in a jar. We probably still throw most propolis away as you get wax, dirt, and crap from scraping boxes. We make it a point to never collect propolis from scraping the box edges as it just is impossible to not have paint chips in the propolis. We do scrape box edges, but all that stuff no matter how much propolis, does not go in the propolis jar.

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