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Product Extraction

Hive products that need specialised extraction are mainly the propolis, royal jelly and bee venom

Royal Jelly Extraction

  • To produce royal jelly a strong colony with a hive population of young bees is required. 
  • The colony should have a sufficient store of honey and pollen. 
  • Royal jelly is obtained during the nectar flow period when pollen and nectar are readily available.
  •  Specialised tools for Jelly production include Queen cups, grafting needles, Royal Jelly collection bars and frames, alcohol for sterilisation (75%) and sugar to feed a colony. 

Bee Venom Extraction

  • Bee venom can be safely extracted in the laboratory using a venom extractor box. 
  • The production is induced when the bees are shocked electrically. 
  • The venom is used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. 
  •  Some humans are allergic to the bee poison. 

Harvesting of Propolis 

  • Propolis is collected from the beehive.
  •  Pure propolis is deposited above the top hive box, on the hive floor, or near the entrance. 
  • Bees can be induced to deposit propolis through the use of a slotted sheet that covers the top or sides of the hive box. 
  • The sheets can be nylon, net, gauze or plastic


Propolis collection on a langstroth hive

Propolis collection on a langstroth hive

Pollen Collection

  • Pollen can be harvested by fitting a pollen trap or wire grid across the flight entrance of the hive. 
  • When returning foragers scramble into the hive through the traps, their hide legs are scrapped and pollen is released from the pollen bag. 
  • The trap should be removed every 10 days to enable the bees to collect pollen for brood rearing.
A pollen trap on a langstroth hive

A pollen trap on a langstroth hive

  • To prevent deterioration the pollen can be mixed with a substance such as soya bean floor or sugar that absorbs water