Propolis, a resinous substance obtained from honeybees, has become a new source of extra income for beekeepers in Turkey.
In addition to honey, bees also produce a compound called propolis also known bee glue by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources.
In an attempt to provide new revenue for producers, the association is preparing a project for the production, processing and marketing of propolis, pollen and royal jelly, Siirt Beekeepers' Association head Faik Efe told Anadolu Agency.
''It is very hard to produce propolis. That is why beekeepers have not interested in,'' Efe noted.
''Now, in Turkey's eastern Siirt province, a total of 50 out of 1,300 members of the association are producing propolis,'' he added.
Also carrying out various research and experiment studies on honey, royal jelly, pollen and propolis at Beekeeping Research and Application Center in Siirt University, academician Cahit Ozcan said bees use propolis as a immune system to protect and sterilize their hives from viruses and bacteria.
The amount of product collected by the method of scraping hive entrance is very low, Cahit said adding, ''if large production is desired, propolis traps are excellent way to harvest clean propolis from your hive. One kilogram of propolis is sold at 200 Turkish liras (almost $36).''
Additionally, beekeepers started to produce it when the demand for the product increased in the last few years, Siirt Honey Producers' Association head Nezir Cetin said.
As a part of project ''Young Farmer'', Siirt Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry distributed 4,858 propolis traps to producers in 3 years.
Propolis is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. It is widely used in in traditional medicine treating abscesses and healing wounds.
*Writing by Faruk Zorlu
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