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The IPRG Conference Programme is displayed below. We are using the Zoom Webinar platform to host the conference. Attendees may join the conference at any point between 9:45am on Thursday 27th May and the end of the Conference at around 6pm on Friday 28th May.
All times are British Summer Time (GMT+1).
Dr. Berretta is a Biochemical Pharmacist, with Masters, Doctor and Post-doctoral Degrees from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo (FCFRP/USP). She is the Vice-President of ABEMEL since 2016 (Brazilian Association of Honey Exporters).
She is Head of Research, Development and Innovation, member of the Board of Directors and Pharmacist Responsible at Apis Flora Indl. Coml. Ltda - Propolis Leader Company in Brazil (IMS Health, 2018). Up to September 2019 she had more than 32 scientific articles, 5 book chapters and 7 patents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed interest in propolis products worldwide. Propolis components have inhibitory effects on the ACE2, TMPRSS2 and PAK1 signaling pathways; in addition, antiviral activity has been proven in vitro and in vivo. In pre-clinical studies, propolis promoted immunoregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including reduction in IL-6, IL-1 beta and TNF-α. Standardized propolis products with consistent bioactive properties are now available, a standardized green propolis extract (EPP-AF®). In a randomized, controlled, open-label, single-center trial, hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients were treated with EPP-AF® as an adjunct therapy. Patients were allocated to receive standard care plus an oral dose of 400 mg or 800 mg/day of green propolis EPP-AF® for seven days, or standard care alone. Standard care included all necessary interventions, as determined by the attending physician. We enrolled 124 patients in total. The length of hospital stay post-intervention was shorter in both propolis groups than in the control group; lower dose, median 7 days versus 12 days (95% confidence interval [CI] −6.23 to −0.07; p = 0.049) and higher dose, median 6 days versus 12 days (95% CI −7.00 to −1.09; p = 0.009). In the high dose propolis group, there was a lower rate of acute kidney injury than in the controls (4.8 vs 23.8%), (odds ratio [OR] 0.18; 95% CI 0.03–0.84; p = 0.048). Consequently, we conclude that propolis can reduce the impact of COVID-19.
Pr Badiaa Lyoussi has a good experience over 30 years in the physiopathology and pharmacology of natural products from medicinal plants.
She has more than 120 scientific publications and chapters in books in many areas, including:
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic progressive disease characterized by chronic fasting hyperglycemia and resulting in defective insulin action. This pathology is most often linked to life style changes, obesity, physical inactivity and family antecedents. Currently, its incidence is increasing exponentially, and affects more than 350 million people worldwide, estimates are that it will grow to about 642 million people by 2040. Several hypotheses were put in place in order to explain the mechanisms involved in the manifestation of diabetes and its associated risks. The most solid one is that linking to oxidative stress, in fact hyperglycemia is a main factor triggering oxidative stress via the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The relationship between diabetes, hepato-renal damage and oxidative stress has been the subject of previous studies. Nature is an inexhaustible source of products and bioactive molecules that can be used as alternative treatments, being propolis one of them. Propolis, known as a miracle drug, is a sticky, resinous substance made by a complex mixture of bee-released and plant–derived compounds. Numerous studies have shown that propolis has different therapeutic properties such as antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anticancer, antiangiogenic and hepatoprotective. Furthermore, in vitro studies have shown that propolis inhibits α-amylase and α -glucosidase activities as part of its anti-hyperglycemic mechanism . Pollen is another bee product that is extremely rich in bioactive molecules, like flavonoids. Numerous biological effects are attributed to bee pollen, which include antioxidant , cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, and anti-inflammatory effects. Honey have antioxydant and antiinflammatory properties, honey decreases urinary prostaglandins and increases nitric oxyde. Until now, no study had examined the combined effect of propolis and bee pollen or honey on type 2 diabetes and its related metabolic disorders. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the chemical composition of antioxidant polyphenols in propolis, bee pollen and honey extracts and also to evaluate the influence of several doses of these extracts and their mixture in the prevention of T2D, dyslipidemia and hepato-renal dysfunction induced by D-glucose in rats. The results of this study showed for the first time that co-administration of propolis and honey or bee pollen extracts, especially their combination, are able to attenuate the T2D caused by a high-glucose intake. The role of these natural ingredients involves prevention of hyperglycemia, insulinemia, HOMA-IR index, HOMA-β, Insulin sensitivity, pancreatic β-cell function and lipid prolife. Furthermore, these natural products ameliorate hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity as diabetic complications.
It might be concluded that propolis , honey and pollen are potential candidates to be used in the management of diabetes and its metabolic disorders . These results pave the way for controlled clinical studies and the use of their combination might potentiate their activities.
Felix Zulhendri, Ph.D is the owner and operator of Kebun Efi. Kebun Efi is an award-nominated agritourism company located in North Sumatra, Indonesia, that focuses on developing bee products; propolis in particular and nomadic-style tourism. Prior to managing Kebun Efi, Felix spent most of his professional career in New Zealand in the R&D and Patents Law fields.
Propolis is plant resin collected by the bees to serve various critical functions in the hive, such as providing physical protection, maintaining hive homeostasis, acting as an antimicrobial and immune-modulator substance, and so on. More importantly, propolis has a wide range of therapeutic and health benefits for humans ranging from antimicrobial, anti-inflammation, antioxidant, and anticancer. This talk will present the therapeutic benefits of propolis in metabolic syndrome and its chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and Alzheimer’s disease), with particular emphasis on human clinical trials and the common denominators on how propolis works therapeutically on those disorders. The talk will also present the research that has been carried out by our group investigating the propolis of Indonesian stingless bees.
Stefan Stangaciu is a medical doctor who has devoted most of his life to developing and supporting Apitherapy – the therapeutic use of bee products.
He is an active teacher and broadcaster, writing and delivering courses and talks on Apitherapy round the world bringing to Apitherapy a level of medical recognition to this age old but medicine.
He is Secretary General of the International Federation of Apitherapy and has founded / co-founded chaired or been a board member of many Apitherapy Associations including those in America, Germany, and in his home country Romania where he has been very influential.
Publications include: Soft Healing Through Bee Products, Gentle Healing with Honey, Propolis and Beeswax and Good Health with the Bees.
We have studied scientific and regular papers on propolis, papers written in over 30 countries in various languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Romanian). We reviewed also all major apitherapy congresses in the last about 30 years. Propolis can offer over seventy useful properties and unbelievable many uses in clinical medicine, both as a preventative and as curative agent in human and veterinary medicine. It is also an excellent product for vitality (Sport Medicine) and beauty (Api-Cosmetology).
Propolis is an extraordinary “tool” in the hands of a well-informed medical doctor/health practitioner/beekeeper. It is by far the most important product to be kept in each home’s pharmacy and in each medical office or clinic.
The main clinical “secrets” are the specific use of various propolis extracts for specific diseases/problems of each separate individual, and the administration through all anatomical routes, especially in emergencies or in very complex pathologies.
Dr. Vincenzo Zaccaria has a PhD in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and two Master’s Degrees from The University of Pavia (Italy) working on propolis. He is the R&D and Technical Manager of B Natural, author of scientific papers and communications on propolis and Professor in academic and advanced courses.
The most common symptoms of mild upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are sore throat, muffled dysphonia, and swelling and redness of the throat, which result from the inflammation process following acute bacterial or viral infection.
As propolis is a natural resinous substance traditionally used to maintain oral cavity and upper respiratory tract health due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, the aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of an oral spray based on poplar-type propolis extract with a known and standardized polyphenol content, on the remission of the symptoms associated with mild uncomplicated URTIs.
A monocentric, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed. This study was conducted in 122 healthy adults who had perceived mild upper respiratory tract infections. Propolis oral spray total polyphenol content was 15 mg/ml. The dosage was 2-4 sprays three times/day (corresponding to 12-24 mg of standardized polyphenols/day), for five days. The duration of the study was 8 weeks.
After 3 days of treatment, 83% of subjects treated with 12-24 mg of standardized polyphenols from Propolis MED had remission of symptoms, while 72% of subjects in the placebo group had at least one remaining symptom. After five days, all subjects had recovered from all symptoms. This means that resolution from mild uncomplicated URTIs took place two days earlier, instead of taking place in five days as recorded in the control group. There was no relationship between the ingestion of propolis oral spray or placebo and adverse reactions.
Propolis oral spray can be used to improve both bacterial and viral uncomplicated URTI symptoms in a smaller number of days without the use of pharmacological treatment, leading to a prompt symptom resolution.
Nicola Volpi is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE).
He teaches Biological Chemistry to graduates in Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Medicine and Surgery, and Dentistry. He is a member of the PhD School in Clinical and Experimental Medicine. He is head of Lab “Biochemistry and Glycobiology”. He has published 6 books on Biochemistry for Italian University graduates, 4 international books as Editor, 203 papers in high-ranking international scientific journals and 16 reviews. He has published more than 100 abstracts and communications to congresses and he has been invited to present 15 Invited Lectures.
He is inventor of 9 patents. He has worked in the field of natural compounds and complex macromolecules since 1990, for over 30 years. He has published 7 papers on propolis characterization and properties. During these years, several preparatory and analytical techniques for the study of the structures and properties of these molecules and many other approaches useful in this field have been developed and published in several Scientific Journals.
We determined the polyphenol content in a defined volume of chemically characterized and standardized propolis sample to evaluate its effectiveness in patients with chronic periodontitis. 150 patients were enrolled, randomly divided into three groups and subjected to three different treatments, Scaling and Root planing (SRP) associated with propolis, SRP with 1% chlorhexidine gel and SRP only. Before the treatments, Full Mouth Plaque Score (FMPS), Pocket Depth at Probing (PPD), Full Mouth Bleeding Score (FMBS), Impaired furcations according to the Hamp Classification, Mobility, Gingival recession and Clinical Attack Level (CAL) were evaluated. A significant reduction of all the studied variables was observed in the three examined groups even if in the group treated with propolis, after 6 weeks, the reduction, and therefore the improvement, was higher than SRP treatment alone and in the presence of 1% chlorhexidine gel. Finally, there were no significant differences in the reduction of PPD and CAL between the groups treated with chlorhexidine and the group treated with SRP alone. Compared to the other two groups, Subjects treated with 10.4 mg propolis showed a significant improvement in all four variables. This study shows that propolis could be used as a natural adjuvant in the treatment of periodontal disease.
Deyong Jiang，graduated from the department of apiology, school of apiology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in 1987.
1 Chairman and Secretary General of Apitherapy Committee of China Bee Products Association
2 Vice chairman and Secretary General of Propolis Special Committee of China Bee Products Association
3 Food Technical Committee of ISO， Bee Products Sub-committee (ISO/TC34/SC19) WG2 registration expert of international standard of propolis.
In December 1999, eight kinds of flavonoid fingerprints of propolis from Brazilian propolis 、Russian propolis and Chinese propolis were obtained for the first time (galangin, pinocembrin, chrysin, quercetin, apigenin, myricetin , kaempferol and rutin), and obtained the patent right for invention of China (ZL 01141763.3 antioxidant active extract and its molecular inclusion compound preparation)in 2005
In 2019, established TCM clinic of Beijing De Fengtang Bokang, mainly engaged in the production of various propolis products, the animal experiment of propolis in the treatment of type Ⅱ diabetes in mice and the clinical experiment of propolis in the treatment of type Ⅱ diabetes in human body.
60 patients with hyperglycemia were randomly divided into the control group of the experimental group and 30 cases in each group. During the observation period, the original type and dosage of hypoglycemic drugs were unchanged. The trial group was added with the propolis soft capsule (propolis liquid), and the control group was given with the placebo. One month later, the results showed that the propolis soft capsule (propolis liquid) had the effect of lowering blood sugar, and the fasting blood sugar decreased by 1.54 ± 1.63mmol/l, blood glucose decreased 0.92±2.43mmol/L after meal ，20 cases were effective .The total effective rate was 66.67%; The results showed that the blood glucose of the control group was not significantly decreased, among which 10 cases were effective, the total effective rate was 33.33%. The difference between the two groups was significant. The clinical test indexes of hemoglobin, red blood cells, white blood cells, serum total protein, albumin, glutamine, glutamic transaminase, urea, inosine and urine routine before and after the trial were all in the normal range, It shows that the propolis soft capsule (propolis liquid) we have produced has no obvious adverse effect on the health of the dieters.
Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Gloger
- Study of Chemistry, TU Munich
- Doctorate, TU Munich
- 25 years of professional experience in various industrial fields
- Beekeeper, bee expert
- Apitherapy and bee venom specialist
- Training of apitherapy specialists
- Freeze-drying of ApiDrohn® (Apilarnil)
- Various scientific contributions Apimondia
- Author of the book "The Power of the Bee”
Introduction to a multistep approach to get a psoriasis rheum under control with green propolis. A patient who originally has been treated with high dose NSAR, later with MTX turned to naturopathy after a collapse caused by MTX. An 18 month path of life change, change in daily food and additionally green propolis effected in the end that the constant pain in joints stopped without any conventional drugs.
Vassya Bankova obtained her PhD in Natural Product Chemistry at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia. She has worked as a guest-researcher at the Ruhr University – Bochum, the University of Saarland, Saarbruecken, the Bandeirante University, Sao Paulo, and the Institute of Molecules of Biological Interest, Naples.
In 2004 she became full professor at the Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, where she is now head of Lab “Chemistry of Natural Substances”.
Natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) are a new alternative to toxic organic solvents. Their constituents are primary metabolites, non-toxic, biocompatible and sustainable. In this study five selected NADES were applied for the extraction of propolis as an alternative to water-alcohol mixtures, and the antimicrobial and antioxidant potential of the extracts were studied. The extraction efficiency was evaluated by measuring the extracted total phenolics, and total flavones and flavonols. The qualitative composition was studied by GC-MS. Best results were achieved using citric acid – 1,2-propanediol 1:4 (CAPD), it extracted the same amount of phenolics and only somewhat lower amount of flavonoids than 70% ethanol. The GC-MS analysis confirmed that the major propolis constituents: pinocembrin, chrysin, galangin, CAPE, chemical markers of poplar type propolis and well-known bioactive compounds, are major constituents of all studied NADES extracts. Their antimicrobial and radical scavenging activity was of the same order of magnitude as the conventional ethanol extract, the best antibacterial activity was obtained with CAPD, much better that the one of the ethanol extract. The best radical scavenging activity (DPPH) was observed for choline chloride – glucose 5:2 with 30% water. Our results confirm the potential of NADESs for extraction of bioactive constituents from propolis and suggest that NADES can improve the effects of extracted bioactive substances. Further studies are needed to clarify in detail the influence of the NADES on the bioactivity of the extracts, and their potential to be used in the pharmaceutical and food industry.
Miguel Vilas-Boas is a Professor in Chemistry of Natural Products and Director of the Agrarian School of the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal. As a researcher in the Mountain Research Centre his goals are focused on beekeeping technology, organic beekeeping and particularly the quality evaluation of bee products.
Currently, he is the leader of the propolis group at the International Honey Commission, member of the board of directors of the Apiceutical Research Centre, Vice-President of the scientific commission on beekeeping technology and quality of APIMONDIA and the Portuguese representative in the ISO committee for bee products standardization.
The international trade of propolis and its recognition as raw material for food and pharmaceutical applications relies on a global recognition of its specifications. Its potential as a source for natural substances and its high biological activity are well documented and do not raise any doubt, nevertheless it requires the establishment of clear parameters to certify its composition and quality. To fulfill these needs, the international community, thought ISO, established a working group on propolis, within the subcommittee on bee products ISO/TC 34/SC 19. With 62 international participants from 17 countries, the publication of the international standard is expected by October 2022, and is planned to established consensual terms, including the definition of poplar, baccharis and dalbergia/clusia propolis, analytical method for propolis analysis, quality parameters specifications, and requirements for packing, labeling, storage and transportation. The undergoing work is now at a critical stage where the analytical protocols, which will lead to the setting up of the quality requirements, are being refined and subject to an interlaboratorial trial to check for consistency and robustness. The definition of minimum/maximum for each parameter will be the final stage before concluding the working draft stage required for international approval.
Prof. Dr. Ali Timucin Atayoglu is a consultant medical doctor and a lecturer in Medipol University in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the president of the International Federation of Apitherapy. He is currently the president of Apitherapy Association in Turkey and the vice-chairman of Apitherapy Commission in China.
He is a member of the Scientific Committee for the Traditional & Complementary Medical Practices in the Turkish Health Ministry. He is also the chairman of the Holistic and Integrative Medicine Association in Turkey.
The active substances of propolis are easily soluble in ethanol. However, ethanolic extracts cannot be used in the treatment of certain conditions. The main bioactive substances of propolis are less soluble in other solvents used in the pharmaceutical industry. L-Lactic acid is a non-toxic, bio-based, weak acid which is also approved as a food additive with no ADI value. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activity analyzes of propolis extracted by using lactic acid in comparisson with ethanol. Extracts were prepared in different concentrations (10, 20, 30 and 40 %) for comparison. Phenolic compounds were determined in the obtained solutions by LC-MS/MS procedure and antioxidant activity analyzes were performed by DPPH and CUPRAC methods. It was determined that the total phenolic content in the 40% propolis-lactic acid solution was significantly higher than the ethanol-propolis solution of the same concentration (p<0.05). In addition, with the CUPRAC method, there was no difference in the antioxidant capacities between ethanol and lactic acid solutions of that concentration. The results suggest that lactic acid may be used as an alternative to ethanol for propolis extraction.
Nicola Volpi is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the
Department of Life Sciences of the University of Modena & Reggio
He teaches Biological Chemistry to
graduates in Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Medicine and Surgery,
and Dentistry. He is a member of the PhD School in Clinical and
Experimental Medicine. He is head of Lab “Biochemistry and
Glycobiology”. He has published 6 books on Biochemistry for Italian
University graduates, 4 international books as Editor, 203 papers in
high-ranking international scientific journals and 16 reviews. He has
published more than 100 abstracts and communications to congresses and
he has been invited to present 15 Invited Lectures.
He is inventor of 9 patents. He has worked in the field of natural compounds and complex macromolecules since 1990, for over 30 years. He has published 7 papers on propolis characterization and properties. During these years, several preparatory and analytical techniques for the study of the structures and properties of these molecules and many other approaches useful in this field have been developed and published in several Scientific Journals.
Propolis is important in complementary and alternative medicine having well-known therapeutic applications. Artepillin C, a main component of Brazilian (green) propolis, has attracted great attention for its anticancer action. Consequently, the synthesis of artepillin C has been reported but, due to the limited yield and elevated costs, this biomolecule is largely produced from Brazilian propolis. We report the capillary electrophoresis (CE) separation of artepillin C in Brazilian propolis also comparing the results with those of HPLC-UV-MS. Optimal separation was obtained with a simple buffer constituted of sodium tetraborate 30 mM pH 9.2 and detection at 210 nm. Artepillin C and the polyphenols of propolis were fully separated with a voltage gradient of 30 to 8 kV and a current of 300 μA for a total run of 50 min. The sensitivity of CE-UV was 22 times greater than HPLC-UV and 100 times more than HPLC-MS with also a stronger reduction in the run time and a greater robustness and reproducibility. The development of CE as an effective and reliable method for the analysis of artepillin C is desired as the standardized quality controls are essential before propolis or its biomolecules can be adopted routinely in nutraceuticals, food ingredients and therapeutic applications.
Graduated in Pharmacy and Biochemistry from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of São Paulo (1983), Master's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University São Francisco, Bragança Paulista, SP (2000) and PhD in Chemistry from the State University of Campinas (2006) and postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Plant Biology (UNICAMP) between 2008-2013. Worked as a professor at UNIBAN in the Pharmacy and Biomedicine Courses (2006-8) and in the professional master's degree in Pharmacy. She is currently an Associate Professor of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science at UNICAMP and has experience in the field of mass spectrometry, chromatography and metabolomics in studies of: bee products, food, medicinal plants and herbal medicines.
Samples of geopropolis from Melipona scutellaris colonies, coming from two regions of Brazil and harvested during different seasons were evaluated regarding their yield, composition profile, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. All the samples presented low yield after alcoholic extraction by maceration method. Through direct insertion in Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS fingerprinting), no expressive difference was observed in the composition profile of samples from different regions of Brazil, but it was noted that possibly the harvest time and storage period were relevant in regard to its final composition. Through the DPPH method, it was demonstrated that all the samples have a great antioxidant capacity, with similar activity to the one found by the propolis obtained from species Apis mellifera. The results of the diffusion assay show that the geopropolis did not inhibit the growth of the K. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa and E. coli microorganisms, but showed antimicrobial activity against S. aureus and S. epidermitis, suggesting that this geopropolis is more effective against Gram-positive bacteria. Further studies will be necessary to determine the precise composition of the samples. These results support that geopropolis from Melipona scutellaris colonies has great potential as a source of bioactive substances that can serve as basis for the development of new drugs and therapies in the future.
Prof. Dr. Milena Popova completed her PhD in Natural product chemistry at the Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 2004. In 2019 she became Full Professor at the same organization, where she now heading the lab. of “Chemistry of Natural Substances”.
Her research interests include chemical profiling, isolation and structural elucidation of bioactive compounds of different products; metabolomics approaches and green chemistry. Milena Popova is a co-author of over 80 papers, cited over 2,000 times. At present Prof. Milena Popova is a President of the Bulgarian Phytochemical Society.
Recently, the propolis and honey of stingless bees have been attracting growing attention because of their health promoting properties. However, studies on these products of African Meliponini are still very scarce. We analyzed the chemical composition of cerumen, resin deposits (propolis) and honey of Meliponula ferruginea from Tanzania. Two propolis and two cerumen samples were studied by GC-MS, they contained mainly terpenoids (di-and tri-terpenes) but all four samples demonstrated qualitative and quantitative differences. This fact is an indication that M. ferruginea has no strict preferences for resins used to construct and protect their nests. The antimicrobial and anti-quorum sensing properties of the two materials were also tested. The honey of M. ferruginea differed significantly from Apis mellifera European (Bulgarian) honey, it was rich in organic acids and contained high amounts of the disaccharide trehalulose, which may be responsible for some of the biological activities of stingless bee honey. The results demonstrate that the honey and propolis of African stingless bees are rich in biologically active substances and deserve further research.
Quality and research Manager, Nature's Laboratory, Whitby, UK since June 2019. KTP Associate at University of Bradford, UK (May 2017- May 2019). Ph.D. in Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India (2013), Masters of Pharmacy in Natural Products (traditional Medicine) from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali, India (2009). To my credit, I have more than 30 research papers, review articles, and book chapters.
Propolis contains resinous material collected by honeybees from plants, and has a plethora of biological activities. The location of propolis collection influences its chemical composition, resulting in variations in biological activity. The present study was designed to analyse the relationship of propolis to geographic location, chemical composition and biological activity. We examined selected flavonoids and phenolics for their individual concentration as well as total content and biological activities i.e. anti-microbial and anti-oxidant activity by applying multiple regression analysis. We observed that, strong correlation between the phenolics and flavonoids for anti-microbial and anti-oxidant activity, respectively. Higher levels of cinnamates were observed in propolis from tropical regions with better anti-microbial potential, whereas temperate propolis with higher levels of flavonoids exhibited better antioxidant potential. We also observed that, climatic zone-based propolis activity factor approach helps to cater the best possible biological application of propolis.
James Fearnley is Founder Director of ARC (Apiceutical Research Centre), Co-founder Director of IPRG (International Propolis Research Group) and Global Bee medicine Group, Founder Director of The BeeArc Project and CEO of Nature’s Laboratory.
The problem of Multi Drug Resistant bacteria has reached alarming levels . The problem is twofold. Not only are antibiotics failing to deal with ever new and more powerful strains of bacteria, but our natural immune defence mechanisms are failing too as a result of overuse of antibiotics, illustrated by the increasing problem of autoimmune deficiency diseases.
Slowly attention may be turning away from the development of ever more powerful (and more damaging) antibiotics back to exploring ways in which human beings can support, protect and stimulate their own natural defences.
Propolis has been used for millennia in the treatment of disease. Modern research has explored a bewildering variety of anti – properties for propolis - antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antitumoral and others. But propolis does not work by destroying but rather by disabling and balancing - supporting the natural ability of the body to deal with bacteria, inflammation, fungi and so on. Research in Russia going back nearly 50 years showed that propolis combined with antibiotics had a remarkable and positive effect . Recent research would seem to confirm the effect of combining antibiotic and propolis. Are we on the brink of creating a new genre of medicines which combine the destroyers with the disablers.
Dr. Sevda Demir is a PhD candidate in Biotechnology, specialization in Virology at Yeditepe University. She is working with RNA and DNA viruses on the basis of method developement, antiviral activity, viral vaccine and oncogenic viruses. Lastly, she worked as a reseacher in Gamma Irradiated COVID-19 vaccine project which is one of the vaccine candidate of Turkey.
Viral infections are common problems in clinical practice. Propolis is a natural product with biological properties and therapeutic applications. In this study it was aimed to investigate the antiviral activity of different extracts of Standardized Propolis Preparations (M.E.D.®) with glycol, ethanol, glycerol and soya oil, against herpes simplex type-1 and type 2 viruses. After the determination of chemical composition and antiviral activity of each extract the selective index was determined to indicate the in vitro antiviral activity of the extracts compared with acyclovir as the control. The selective index values of glycol, ethanol, glycerol, soya oil extracts and acyclovir were determined as 6.8, 4.1, 2.2, 3.3 and 6.3 against herpes simplex type-1, and as 6.4, 7.7, 1.9, 4.2 and 2.9 against herpes simplex type-2, respectively. Glycolic propolis extract was found to possess a greater antiviral activity than acyclovir for both herpes simplex type-1 and type-2, while glycolic, ethanolic and soya oil preparations were found to have more significant activity than acyclovir for herpes simplex type-2. In conclusion it was determined that standardized propolis preparations have antiviral bioactivity against herpes simplex virus.
I am a medical microbiologist with a career-long interest in antimicrobials and antibiotic resistance. I have an undergraduate degree in Medical Microbiology (Leeds) and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Microbiology (Cardiff) specialising in antimicrobial mechanisms of action and antimicrobial resistance. More recently I have been investigating the use of natural products as novel antimicrobial agents to combat antibiotic resistance.
I came across propolis about 6 years ago, since I have investigated its antimicrobial properties and its effects on biofilm formation and quorum sensing. I currently have a PhD student investigating the antimicrobial activity of propolis from varied geographical origins.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to healthcare this century. Bacteria have become increasingly more resistant to antibiotics as a result of their overuse. As a consequence, infections that were easily treated with antibiotics a decade ago may once again become again life-threatening. According to Public Health England, it is estimated that 10 million lives will be lost to Antibiotic Resistance by the year 2050 globally. The antimicrobial activity of propolis is well documented with strong evidence relating to its efficacy against Gram positive bacteria. However the potential interaction of propolis with antibiotics has received much less attention. A number of studies have demonstrated that propolis interacts with antibiotics in a synergistic manner, which indicates that the presence of propolis does not just add to the action of the antibiotic but produces an action greater than the sum of the parts. This effect is particularly evident in bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics.
In this talk we will review the evidence for this synergistic activity of propolis with antibiotics, a line of enquiry that we have been exploring as it offers a potential powerful tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
Dr. Boryana Trusheva obtained her M.Sc. in organic
chemistry from Sofia University (Sofia, Bulgaria) in 2002.
She has completed her Ph.D in natural product chemistry at
Laboratory Chemistry of Natural Products, Institute of
Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry,
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She is currently an associate
professor at the same institute. Dr. Trusheva has worked
and published in the areas of isolation and structure elucidation
of bioactive secondary metabolites from propolis
and its processing methods. The current focus of her research
is chemical profiling, therapeutic properties and
pharmaceutical application of different propolis types.
Propolis (bee glue) is a resinous hive product manufactured by bees from secondary plant metabolites. Modern science has discovered and confirmed numerous beneficial pharmacological properties of bee glue. In particular, propolis might be considered as an important source of natural bioactive compounds for cancer treatment, due to its potent apoptotic effect leading to death of cancer cells. However, the poor solubility of the active lipophilic secondary plant metabolites in aqueous/biological media seems to reduce their bioavailability, which is one of the main obstacles for application of propolis in cancer therapy. Block copolymer aggregates like micelles, vesicles, etc. have been intensively studied for development of chemotherapeutical formulations due to their ability to solubilize different anticancer compounds. Beside the huge number of copolymers, poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(propylene oxide)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) triblock copolymers are among the most attractive copolymers for preparation of drug and gene delivery systems. A novel micellar form of propolis based on a biocompatible PEO-b-PPO-b-PEO block copolymer (PEO26PPO40PEO26) was developed. Beneficially, all biologically active lipophilic constituents of propolis were solubilized with the aid of polymeric micelles in aqueous media. The micellar form of the propolis exhibits high in vitro cytotoxicity at relatively low concentrations.
・Bachelor of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Japan（2021）
・First-year master's student of Integrated Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Science, University of Shizuoka, Japan
We revealed that the plant origin of the propolis from Lombok, Indonesia is Calophyllum inophyllum by observing stingless bee (Tetragonula fuscobalteata) behavior and LC-MS analysis of the ethanol extracts of the propolis and C. inophyllum resin. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reports that determined the plant origin of propolis as Calophyllum spp. Further new chromanone derivative, 1 was isolated from the resin of the stem bark of C. inophyllum. The structure of 1 was elucidated by a combination method based on its IR, UV, HRESIMS, 1D and 2D NMR data. Part of the absolute structure of 1 was determined by electronic circular dichroism (ECD) supported by time-dependent density functional theory ECD calculation. C. inophyllum resin and 1 showed significant antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherechia coli. The MIC of 1 against S. aureus and E. coli were 30 and 15 µM, respectively. The results suggested that C. inophyllum resin and Indonesian propolis can be used as functional materials.
After completing my degree and masters in Biomedical science, I was drawn like a bee to a pollen rich flower, to a PhD investigating Propolis. Now as my PhD continues, I realise its a fly trap. I'm stuck. Please Help.
Whilst I await rescue, I'll tell you that my interests include Micro and Molecular biology, painting, petting animals and playing video games. And despite my earlier plea, the truth is that I find Propolis and it's potential applications incredibly fascinating and am very much looking forward to investigating where I can and sharing that information with the rest of the world!
In this study we aimed to investigate the relationship between the antimicrobial action of propolis and antibiotics using clinical samples of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and a laboratory strain of Staphylococcus aureus.The effect of propolis on the antibiotic susceptibility of MRSA/MSSA and Staph. aureus was investigated by testing antibiotic susceptibility of the strains in the presence and absence of propolis. Experimental methods included Minimum inhibitory concentration (MICs), disk diffusion assays, eTESTS and a Checkerboard method, in order to ascertain whether propolis could enhance the effects of antibiotics by establishing if the effect observed demonstrated synergy.The results showed that both MRSA and MSSA are highly sensitive to propolis with an MIC of 0.01% (w/v). The presence of propolis increased the susceptibility of these strains to antibiotics.
This novel approach of utilising this readily available and cheap natural product as a combination therapy will enhance the efficacy of current front-line antibiotics [thus enhancing minimum inhibitory concentration and reducing occurrence of resistance] and additionally offers the opportunity to re-introduce antibiotics previously side-lined due to multi drug resistance (MDR), back into the clinic as realistic therapeutic options.
Moustapha Diallo is a master student in Biological Engineering in the Mountain Research Centre in the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal, with the thesis "Bioactivity of phenolic fractions from poplar, green and red propolis: a selection study with a food preservation purpose".
Propolis is a resinous mixture, with complex composition, collected by honey bees from leaf buds, shoots and petioles of leaves from different plants, being constituted by exudates, components of bee metabolism, pollen and waxes. The bee glue has been described as having a broad spectrum of biological properties, including anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-neurodegenerative, among others. This multifunctionality of propolis can be explored for the development of different applications in fields such as anti-cancer therapy and may be adjusted based on the effective composition of the extract. According to its complex composition which varies with the plant source, the most common types, such poplar, green and red propolis, were characterized to access their phenolic composition and bioactivities. For that, after extraction, the phenolic compounds were identified and quantified by liquid chromatography coupled to diode array detection and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-DAD-ESI/MS). To evaluate the biological activity of the extracts, the antioxidant capacity was evaluated through the DPPH, ABTS and reducing power assay. With the results it was intended to correlate the chemical composition with the biological activity, accessing the potentialities of each propolis type for use in combination models with antineoplastic drugs applied in cancer therapy.
Ticiano has a degree in Pharmacy, a master's degree, and a doctorate in Natural and Synthetic Products from the Federal University of Paraíba. Post-doc in the metabolome of the red propolis by the University of Strathclyde/Glasgow-UK. Associate Professor IV at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL). CNPq fellow in Technological Development and Innovative Extension. Master's Advisor by the Postgraduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nutrition at UFAL. He has experience in the field of Industrial Pharmacy and working on the development and validation of analytical methodologies and health products based on red propolis from Alagoas.
The chitosan microcapsules containing Brazilian red propolis extract (RPE) obtained by spray-drying also called Chitosanates of Red Propolis Extract (ChRPE) were prepared and characterized using techniques of Particle Size, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Infrared Spectroscopy, Thermal Analysis, dissolution studies and antibacterial activity. The chitosanate hydrogels was prepared and particle size analysis showed sub-population of particles between 0.30 to 8.00 µm. The ChRPE in solid-state showed a rounded shape and particle diameter between 1.0 and 30 µm by SEM analysis. The thermal analysis and FTIR data demonstrate encapsulation of the bioactive red propolis extract into chitosan biopolymeric system and chemical reaction between chitosan and RPE was not detected. The ChRPE35, ChRPE50 and ChRPE75 demonstrated in vitro release of flavonoids following a concentration-dependent and pH-dependent model. The modified release in simulate gastrointestinal tract conditions was proved. The chitosanate microcapsules obtained in the solid-state were reversibly dissolved in chitosanate hydrogels in an appropriate dissolution medium to release the active flavonoids from the Brazilian red propolis extract. Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus was demonstrated in the ChRPE. The ChRPE can be easily incorporated into food, in the production of biodegradable films, as a bio-preservative and can be manufactured by the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.
Soraia Falcão, PhD in Chemistry from the University of Porto, researcher at the Mountain Research Center of the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, in the area of bee technology, especially in the quality and chemical characterization of the different products of the hive and also in the study of pheromones involved in honey bee communication.
Edible films derived from chitosan highlight for its potential as coating packages, due to their antimicrobial activity and low oxygen permeability, while propolis has shown effective as a natural additive due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Thus, its combination to produce edible films, provides a promising approach to enhance the life spam of easily perishable foods. The present study describes the development of edible films based on chitosan produced from chitin extracted crawfish shell, modified with propolis. Chitosan-based films prepared incorporating different concentrations of poplar propolis extracts (0% to 20%), where characterized by FTIR, TGA and SEM. Additionally, mechanical properties, water-solubility, colour and optical transmittance tests were performed to assess the film specificities. The antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the coating were also studied. The FTIR spectra of the extracted material enable the identification of all major peaks associated to chitosan, corroborating the extraction procedure of chitin/chitosan from crawfish. The addition of propolis to the films decreased the water solubility compared to control. Besides, all films exhibited antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. The output clear indicates that films enriched with propolis may be an alternative candidate for food packing.
Dr Dave Watson has worked in the fields of mass spectrometry and chromatography for nearly 40 years. He has applied these techniques to a wide range of problems in the fields of natural products analysis and clinical chemistry. In the last ten years he has focused on metabolomics and was the local organiser for the 2013 Metabolomics conference in Glasgow.
He has worked on propolis for the last eleven years and is particularly interested in its activity against infectious diseases which are prevalent in the developing world.
During the past ten years we have investigated the antiprotozoal activity of propolis. In our most recent work, ethanolic extracts of four samples of propolis from the UK and one from Poland were tested against three strains of Trypanosoma brucei. The extracts displayed EC50 values of < 20 µg/ml against T. brucei. The extracts were fractionated by using several chromatographic techniques and this resulted in the isolation of 13 compounds and one two component mixture which were characterized by NMR and high-resolution mass spectrometry. The compounds isolated include: 3-acetoxypinobanksin, 7-methoxychrysin, kaempferol, pinocembrin, 4’-methoxykaempferol, galangin, chrysin, apigenin, pinostrobin, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid cinnamyl ester/ coumaric acid benzyl ester (mixture), 4’,7-dimethoxykaempferol and Naringenin 4',7-dimethyl ether. The isolated compounds were tested against three strains of T. brucei and two strains of Leishmania mexicana. Most of the isolated compounds had EC50 values of < 100 µM. The most active compounds against T. brucei were 4’,7 naringenin dimethylether and 4’methoxy kaempferol with activity of ca 20 µM against the three strains of T. brucei. The most active compound against L. mexicana was the coumaric acid ester mixture.
The purpose of this study was to determine the virucidal activity of Propolis M.E.D. (Multi Dinamic Extraction) ® preparation against different RNA viruses. The virucidal effects of this Propolis preparation were evaluated on enveloped viruses [namely, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), feline coronavirus (FCoV)-II and human coronaviruses (HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43)] and a naked virus [namely, encephalomyocarditis virus, (EMCV)]. To examine virucidal activity of the Propolis M.E.D.® preparation prepared by B Natural S.r.l. (Milan, Italy), each virus was exposed at this propolis extract at different times of contact (5’ – 15’ – 30’). Results indicated that Propolis MED extract inhibited VSV titer just after 5’ time of contact with virus (viral titer reduction >99.9%). Furthermore, Propolis extract does not inhibit the infectivity of EMCV but exhibits significant virucidal activity against HCov-OC43, HcOV-229E, and FCoV-II. Specifically, the exposure to Propolis MED extract caused a reduction of FCoVII infectivity of 90% and >99.9% after 5’ and 15’ of exposure respectively. Moreover, Propolis Med extract has a potent virucidal activity against hCoV-OC43 and hCoV-229E (viral titer reduction >99.9% after 30’ time exposure). These results indicated that the Propolis MED extract exhibits a strong and a rapid virucidal activity against enveloped RNA viruses, including different types of coronaviruses.
I am a PhD chemistry scholar at Lahore college for women university Lahore, Pakistan. My research topic is, Biochemical studies on Propolis and their nanopropolis. I am also working as an assistant professor of chemistry in a local government college since 1997.
Bee propolis is traditionally used as antibacterial medicine and accumulates many antioxidant phytochemicals which is not limited to phenols and flavonoids. [1,2]. In this research propolis extract has been employed as a reducing and capping agent to afford silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with bioactive potential . Propolis ethanolic extract was prepared by conventional method and subjected to chemical identification. The dried extract has been mixed with 1mM aqueous AgNO3 solution in 1:1 (v/v) at room temperature and stirred for 30 min, color change from yellow to dark brown was confirmed by UV-visible spectrophotometer at the range of 400-800 nm. This observation evident the reduction of Ag+ ions to Ag0 and further supported by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed the spherical shaped particles with size range of 90-95nm while X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques confirms crystallinity of AgNPs. Furthermore, silver nanoparticles have studied for various biological activities [2,3] and showed excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities as compared to propolis ethanolic extract.. In vitro membrane stability potential of propolis AgNps results indicated that high concentration disrupted the RBc membrane integrity causing the leakage of hemoglobin.
Keywords Silver Nanoparticles, propolis ethanolic extract, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial Activity, cytotoxicity
1. Ghramh, H. A., Khan, K. A., Ibrahim, E. H., & Ansari, M. J. (2019). Biogenic synthesis of silver nanoparticles using propolis extract, their characterization, and biological activities. Science of Advanced Materials, 11(6), 876-883.
2. Izzularab, B. M., Megeed, M., & Yehia, M. (2021). Propolis nanoparticles modulate the inflammatory and apoptotic pathways in carbon tetrachloride‐induced liver fibrosis and nephropathy in rats. Environmental Toxicology, 36(1), 55-66.
3. Corciova, A., Mircea, C., Burlec, A. F., Cioanca, O., Tuchilus, C., Fifere, A., & Hancianu, M. (2019). Antioxidant, antimicrobial and photocatalytic activities of silver nanoparticles obtained by bee propolis extract assisted biosynthesis. Farmacia, 67, 482-489.
Assist. Prof. Dr. Segueni Narimane has a PHD and a post-doctoral degree in Pharmacochemistry. She is assistant professor in faculty of Medecin at the University of Constantine. She is working on chemical composition and biological activities of Algerian propolis for the last 20 years. Her main goal is to better understand and valorize Algerian propolis.
Algerian propolis has gained interest in the last recent years. Many studies have demonstrated its potential anticancer activity in various cell lines such as Human Pancreatic PANC-1 cancer and human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines (A549). However, the potential anticancer effect and molecular mechanism of Algerian propolis on Human breast adenocarcinoma (MDA-MB-231) cells has not been investigated.
We aimed in the present study to investigate the cytotoxic and anticancer effects of algerian propolis on Human breast adenocarcinoma cells. The influence of the used solvent for extraction on the tested activity and the chemical composition was also investigated. Real time PCR was used to investigate the effect of Algerian propolis on gene expression of caspase 3, Bax, Bcl-2, CDK-4 and P53 proteins. In addition, Annexin-V was also evaluated.
The MTT assay showed a significant antiproliferative activity. EC50 values varied between 97 and 117 µg / ml. Algerian propolis was found to significantly increase mRNA levels of proteins associated with tumor suppression and apoptosis. The main biologically active compounds of Algerian propolis were flavonoids and phenolic acids. The presented findings suggest that the Alerian propolis show potential in anticancer therapeutic strategy in particular in Human breast adenocarcinoma.
Larissa Tinô is a dental surgeon with a Master's Degree in Health Research (MPPS / CESMAC), currently a PhD student in Stomatopathology at the Faculty of Dentistry of Piracicaba of the State University of Campinas (FOP / UNICAMP).
Participates in projects related to the development of dental products based on red propolis from Alagoas and its use in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma.
The Extract from Alagoas Red Propolis (EARP) is obtained through maceration. After the first extraction of propolis in natura, there is a residue from the extraction of propolis called Alagoas red propolis residue (ARPR). However, this raw material is not used in the industry. The objective of this work was developed an Odontologic Gel containing the Extract from Alagoas Red Propolis Residue (EARPR) and evaluate its biological activities. A sample of ARPR was used in the research and it was incorporated into an odontologic gel (GEL-EARPR). Tests for antioxidant activity were performed using the DPPH method. The identification was carried out using HPLC-DAD - Shimadzu®. The cytotoxicity, cell viability and degree of apoptosis assay was performed on peripheral blood lymphocytes using the ApoTox-Glo™ Triplex method. In the results was observed that ARPR did not show cytotoxic activity in lymphocytes in vitro. HPLC-DAD demonstrated that ARPR present similar chemical composition EARP. This result suggests that EARPR may be useful in the industry for the development of medicines. The present invention shows the possible uses of EARPR in the dental field with antioxidant activity, low cytotoxicity and low degree of apoptosis in human peripheral blood lymphocytes, activity against infections, inflammations and neoplasms.
Bachelor of Dentistry in 2014 from Centro Universitário Cesmac.
She has an update in orthodontics in 2013 promoted Centro de Especialidades Odontológicas, Maceió / AL.
She is a specialist in Public Health at the Faculty of Alternative Regional Education, Arapiraca / AL.
Specialist in Legal Dentistry, São Leopoldo Mandic, Campinas / SP.
Postgraduate student in Hospital Dentistry, ABO / AL.
Master of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program at the Federal University of Alagoas UFAL.
She carried out activities in a research group at UFAL from 2016 to 2018, in the line of research on metabolic syndrome and oxidative stress.
She is currently a member of a microbiology research group with an emphasis on genomic characterization.
She is part of the research group of biomaterials in dentistry, in the line of research in the characterization and development of dental biomaterials, with an emphasis on nanoparticles, antimicrobials and antioxidant activity.
The antibacterial action of adhesive systems is an important property, since viable bacteria can remain after the preparation of the cavity. Red propolis is a natural product with antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. The biological synthesis of nanoparticles stands out for being ecologically correct, economical and for reducing toxicity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the conversion degree, antimicrobial activity and bond strength of an experimental dentin bonding agent with silver nanoparticles biosynthesized with red propolis (NPAgB) and silver nanoparticles obtained by conventional synthesis (NPAgC). Two experimental adhesives were synthesized with 250 µg / mL of NPAgB and NPAgC. The pure experimental adhesive and Single Bond 2 (3M / ESPE) were used as controls. Measurements of the conversion degree (CD) of the adhesives were obtained from FTIR spectra. The antioxidant (AA) and antimicrobial activities of NPAgB and NPAgC were evaluated, respectively, by the DPPH method and against S. mutans, S. aureus, S. epidermidis, E. faecalis. Disk diffusion metod (DMM) was used to check the antimicrobial activity of the polymerized adhesives. Microtensile bond strength (µTBS) of the adhesive / dentin interface was measured 24h after restoration. GC of the tested adhesives varied between 76.19 and 87.57% (p <0.05). NPAgB showed better AA% (60%) than NPAgC (52%). The results showed that, compared to NPAgC, NPAgB showed better bacteriostatic activity, except against E. faecalis, a group that showed similar results for both types of nanoparticles. In the DMM test, the NPAgB adhesive provided a diffusion radius of 3.7mm. There was no statistically significant difference (p> 0.05) between the µTBS of adhesives with NPAgB (39.56 MPa), NPAgC (36.17 MPa) and the control group (34.88 MPa). The experimental adhesive with NPAgB showed good antimicrobial activity, adequate conversion degree and bond strength.
Clinical Lecturer Royal London hospital
Marla Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. She has been beekeeping since 1974 and has always been interested in ways to enhance the health and diversity of bees. Her research efforts focus on protecting and enhancing the health of bees through social immunity.
When colonies of Apis mellifera nest in tree cavities, they line the nest interior with a propolis envelope, which serves many purposes, including waterproofing and preventing fungal decay of the hive walls and helping promote stable temperature and humidity. Our research revealed and additional, important function: honey bees exploit the antimicrobial properties of resins to supplement individual immune function and fight off microorganisms and pathogens. Taking a fully integrative approach, our current research is focused on the mode of action of propolis on individual bee immunity. Our original hypothesis was that the antimicrobial properties of propolis would reduce the general microbial load within the nest cavity, reducing the need to produce antimicrobial peptides by the innate immune system of bees. Studies on the microbiota of bees reared in colonies with or without a propolis envelope revealed that propolis exposure reduced the pathogenic or opportunistic microbes and promoted the proliferation of putatively beneficial microbes that support immune function. These results indicate that propolis acts as a selective agent mitigating the microbiome structure and size, rather than a general agent affecting all microbes.
Dr. Michael Simone-Finstrom is a Research Molecular Biologist with the USDA-ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research Unit in Baton Rouge, LA. His research has focused on individual and social mechanisms of disease resistance, including resin/propolis use, hygienic behaviour and genetic diversity. His current work aims to add to this line of research by more fully understanding how these traits work in concert in order to promote them within the beekeeping industry and identify components of viral resistance in honey bees.
Honey bees collect antimicrobial plant resins and incorporate into the internal nest structure as propolis. Propolis can reduce colony microbial loads and modulate immune function, and in laboratory experiments can increase expression of detoxification enzymes and protect against insecticide-induced mortality. The intricate role of propolis on individual bee and colony health is further compounded by other environmental conditions including resource availability and pesticide exposure. Thus, a “real-world” test of the effect of a propolis-enriched hive environment on colonies involved in commercial, migratory beekeeping has been much needed. In this project, we used hive bodies with rough sided interiors that promote propolis deposition as part of a large-scale effort to examine the role of propolis with respect to bee health and pesticide exposure in a commercial beekeeping operation. Results of colony health metrics in relation to this propolis-enhanced environment will be presented along with the first report of pesticide residues in propolis. Additional experiments assessing insecticide sensitivity in honey bees raised in enhanced propolis deposition environments will be discussed. Overall, findings indicate that propolis harbors a significant number of pesticides, but potential costs of that appear to be minimal as propolis-enriched colonies have larger populations at the end of the season.
Mike Goblirsch is a Research Entomologist with the USDA - ARS. His research involves the use of in vitro systems using honey bee cells and tissues to understand the cellular effects of pathogens and other stressors on honey bee health.
The presence of propolis in the nest cavity of Apis mellifera L. provides numerous benefits to individual bee and overall colony immunity. Few studies have examined the effects of propolis on honey bee viruses, which are a contributing factor to increased colony mortality in many parts of the world. Propolis has activity against some viruses of human and veterinary significance; therefore, we wanted to test whether it could inhibit persistent infection of Deformed wing virus-A (DWV-A) and introduced infection of Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), two common honey bee pathogens, using the honey bee cell line, AmE-711. We also tested whether propolis acts directly on cellular immunity by quantifying levels of honey bee immune pathway genes. Levels of persistent DWV-A and introduced ABPV were quantified at 0, 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours after exposure to propolis extracts from two geographic sources. Propolis had an initial inhibitory effect on levels of ABPV, while levels of persistent DWV-A were unchanged. Exposure of honey bee cells to propolis resulted in variable immune responses. The AmE-711 cell culture system provides a good model to study the antiviral potential and immune modulating effects of propolis against honey bee disease at the cellular level.
Maggie is a PhD candidate in the Spivak lab at the University of Minnesota, where she studies propolis use by honey bees and stingless bees. She collaborates with the Bee Team at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur in Chiapas, Mexico to study resin collection and colony health in stingless bee Scaptotrigona mexicana.
Like honey bees, stingless bees use plant resins to make propolis. Unlike honey bees, many stingless bee species collect vast amounts of resin for a variety of uses within the hive. The medicinal properties of stingless bee propolis and its therapeutic value to humans has been widely studied, but the importance of resin to stingless bee colony function is less understood. In this talk, I will discuss the various ways in which stingless bee species use resin in nest construction, for defense, and to shape their cuticular chemical profiles. I will review the existing literature on this topic and propose possible areas for future research.