I went to the National Honey Show yesterday and really enjoyed it. I didn’t manange to get to all the things I wanted because I overslept, but I still found it very worthwhile. I went to a workshop on making wax flowers…see my effort. Now to be honest with you I am busy enough as it is, I hardly have time to make wax flowers! Still I enjoyed it, I like trying my hand at something different. I wanted to go to a lecture on propolis but it was so packed that it was spilling out into the corridoor. C’est la vie. I have managed to extract some propolis and have started taking it, but need to get a lot more before I stand any chance of being able to take it regularly.
One of the most interesting books I have read recently is on propolis. It called, unsurpisingly ‘Bee Propolis Natural Healing from the Hive’ by James Fearnley. I have become interested in propolis as a succesor to antibiotics. If we dont stop overprescribing them we are heading for a disaster. I have included instructions on how to prepare propolis in alcohol. I will put up other preparations later. According to Fearnley it can be used as a tincture or as an internal remedy. Take a few drops a day to boost your immune system. Use externally for cuts, grazes etc( I am not sure the alcohol wouldnt sting, I havent tried it yet)
I also bought a book on making Mead. I did try some at a stall and liked it. I need more honey though if I am going to make Mead as well as sell some to pay the costs of beekeeping.
Propolis tincture recipe.
Remove any obvious contaminants for the propolis, such as wood, bees etc.
Cut into small pieces and put in a clean jar with a tight fitting lid. (I used a propolis screen which I put into the freezer for a few hours to make it brittle, it was much easier to remove)
Pour in commercial drinking grade alcohol, 70% proof produces the best results but ordinary spirits such as Vodka or Gin are perfectly acceptable.
To make a 25% alcohol extract you need 250 g of proplis plus 4 times that weight/volume in alcohol- i.e. approx 1 litre. I found that I was only making a very small amount and it worked out that it was just enough alcohol to barely cover the propolis.
Store in a warm dark place for at least a week and shake daily.Optimum extraction takes between ten to fourteen days.
Filter through a fine cloth or a coffee filter.
Place in the fridge for a couple of days and then filter again with the finest filter possible.