Place the flat mesh propolis trap on top of the hive in place of the cover. According to the Virtual Beekeeping Gallery, the best time to do this is in late summer after the bees' last summer harvest. As temperatures fall, they will hurry to seal the gaps and insulate their hive.
Remove the propolis trap in late fall/early winter. Wait until outdoor temperatures reach or fall below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the propolis changes from a sticky tar-like substance to a hard resin that is much easier to harvest.
Pull any insect parts or other easily visible debris off of the propolis with your fingers.
Hold each narrow end of the propolis trap with your hands. Hold the propolis trap over the plastic bin and twist the trap back and forth (like an ice cube tray) to dislodge the bulk of the propolis.
Stand the propolis trap up in the bin, steady it with one hand and use the other to scrape the remainder of the propolis off of the propolis trap with your hive tool. First scrape the propolis off of the surface then wedge your hive tool in the slits in the mesh to remove the propolis trapped there.
Sift through the propolis in the bottom of the bin to check for and remove any foreign matter from the propolis.
Replace the propolis trap on the hive.
Store the propolis in an air-tight glass or plastic container in the refrigerator.
Things You Will Need
- Propolis trap
- Hive tool
- Plastic bag
- Plastic bin
- Air-tight container
- Propolis attached directly to the wooden frame of a hive is not fit for consumption or sale. Wood and paint flakes dislodged during harvest will contaminate the supply.
- Instead of waiting for temperatures to reach 30 degrees Fahrenheit, you may remove the propolis trap, place it in a plastic bag and freeze it overnight to harden the propolis.
- The plastic bin must be large enough to easily accommodate the width and breadth of the propolis trap.