The Importance of Propolis and More with Dr. Marla Spivak (S3, E33)


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Marla Spivak is a honey bee researcher at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Her work has covered a variety of subjects over the years including queen breeding and disease prevention and lately she has been working on the relationship of honey bees and propolis.

Propolis is simply a mixture of resins honey bees collect from a variety of plants. These resins protect these plants from diseases and pests that would otherwise harm them. She first became interested when she read that some properties of propolis had a positive effect on human HIV disease. Then she attended a meeting where she learned how ants collect these resins to use in their nests and she was hooked or should we say, propolis stuck with her… to her… to, everything.

Propolis has a definite antimicrobial effect on dangerous microbes in the hive and at the same time, manages to help maintain, even increase the positive microbiome in a honey bee’s gut and even their mouth parts. It doesn’t cure AFB or EFB, but is does help keep it in check in an infected colony.

Propolis in a beehive moves the needle, researchers feel. It is the foundation for honey bee health. Find out even more by listening to Marla Spivak explain the joys of propolis.

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:


Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"

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