Bees manufacture propolis to protect and insulate their hives. Human beings also use propolis for a number of purposes, and it is a marketable commodity. In order to harvest the bees' propolis, you must have a propolis trap. This simple mesh covering goes on top of the hive in place of its wooden cover. To insulate their hive, the bees will seal the slots in the mesh with propolis. Once a year, in fall when propolis production is at its peak, you can easily harvest it.
1. 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.
2. 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…