Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is propolis the same around the world?

A: No. The chemical components of propolis vary remarkably from country to country, and even between different locations within each country. The variability of propolis is due to the plants that the bees gather resin from. Initially, this variability was a serious obstacle to the standardisation of propolis and its reliable therapeutic use.

However, studies based on propolis from particular locations (such as Professor Hiroshi Maruta's research on BIO30 Propolis from New Zealand) have led to findings based on the characteristics of particular propolis.


Q: How do bees know what to gather to make propolis?

A: Scientists know that the plants honeybees gather resin from for propolis are not chosen randomly. However, how the bees identify the plants is not known. Whatever the process, bees appear to have an ability to find the plant substances they need to convert to propolis for effective protection of their hives from infection. Processed into a form suitable for human consumption, propolis has been shown to provide similar protection for human health.


Q: What is so different about BIO30™ New Zealand Propolis compared with other propolis?

A: Scientists have found propolis varies considerably in its composition depending on the plants available in the location where bees gather its components. BIO30™ New Zealand Propolis is certified to contain a minimum of 30 mg/g of bioflavonoids, the active compounds responsible for the biological activity in propolis. BIO30™ New Zealand Propolis is extremely high in important bioflavonoids, which make up 70% of the flavonoid content, compared to less than 10% in propolis from other countries.

Scientists continue to use BIO30™ New Zealand Propolis extract in research because it contains high levels of the cancer-suppressing (anti-tumour) compound CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester), along with other synergistic ingredients, in a water-soluble form, which can be readily taken orally.


Q: What is apitherapy?

A: Apitherapy is the use of bee products for human health benefits. Bee products include propolis, bee pollen and royal jelly, amongst others. The use of bee products in apitherapy is one of the oldest recorded prescriptions, dating at least to the time of Hippocrates. Historically, bee products have been used both internally (propolis extract to treat ulcers, propolis spray for sore throats etc.) and externally (applied to wounds, skin infections, burns etc.) in many cultures.