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