China Daily, 3/26/2017
Almost every week between December and March, Guilherme Almeida, who lives in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minhas Gerais, drives more than 125 miles into the mountainous area.
Once renowned for being rich in gold, gems and diamonds, the region in southeastern Brazil is where honey bees produce green propolis, which is gaining greater popularity among Chinese people as an effective healthcare product.
Guilherme oversees a large apiary where besides producing honey, the bees are basically chemists, producing the best grade of green propolis.
The bees are a hybrid of European bees and African killer bees, and are efficient producers of propolis and immune to diseases. The bees use propolis as a cement or sealant in the construction of their hives to keep them relatively sterile.
Though there are other types of propolis – dark brown, red and black and with white hues – the bees at this apiary produce green propolis because they have access to the resin of the rosemary tree, which can only be found in certain parts of Minhas Gerais.
The substance can only be harvested in the December-March time period, so Guilherme must seize the opportunity to increase his business with his Chinese clients...