Propolis Hive Boxes

We’re excited to sell these unique propolis hive boxes that you can’t get anywhere else! Recent research shows that the propolis, which is highly antimicrobial, can increase the bee’s health. The boxes are made by a small company in Minnesota. Read on for why you would want to get them!


Bees have been living in hollow trees forever and coating the inside with propolis. These boxes are roughed up like the inside of a tree, that the bees will propolize.

Why Propolis?

  • The inside of trees, never perfectly smooth, provides bees a suitable surface to adhere propolis. When Thomas Seely (1976) examined multiple wild honey bee nests he noted at a continuous shell of propolis encompassing the entire nesting cavity was often found coining this the “propolis envelope” (Seely, T.D. & Morse R.A. 1976). These Langstroth boxes are made to mimic the inside of trees.
  • This is a great, easy-to-read article about propolis and bees. Univ. of Minnesota Professor Marla Spivak has been researching the effects of propolis on bee’s immune systems and is now breeding bees that make more propolis. One of her graduate students found that bees exposed to a propolis envelope for just seven days had lower bacterial loads in and on their bodies, and had ‘quieter’ immune systems compared with bees in a colony with no propolis envelope.
  • This study by Professor Spivak shows how a propolis envelope in hives reduces rate of American Foulbrood in hives by serving as an antimicrobial layer around the colony that protects the brood from bacterial infection.

Propolis Hive Boxes
The boxes are standard Langstroth boxes that will fit current equipment. They are made from select grade red pine and have deluxe, easy-to-use handles as pictured in photos. They will not have the upper entrance holes in the photos as those will encourage robbing in the Bay Area.
You can see how rough the insides are in the first two photos.

10-frame Medium Super: $40
10-frame Deep Super: $45
All boxes are unassembled because of the need to ship them.
We recommend using them for boxes that will contain brood, as that is where the antimicrobial action of the propolis will be most helpful against disease.

These boxes are a unique product that you can’t get anywhere else. I am super excited about using them on my hives this year! Also, note that it will take the bees a couple years to build up a lot of propolis on the inside of the boxes. The sooner you start, the better.

-Jennifer, Beekeeper, BioFuel Oasis Cooperative