Propolis: Nature's Duct Tape

I remember as a kid one of my favorite shows on TV was a Canadian comedy show that aired on PBS called the Red Green show.

The premise of the show was that with a roll of duct tape, a guy could build or repair almost anything. Red often referred to duct tape as the Handyman's secret weapon.

As I stand in my workshop taking measurements of the screened bottom boards I made last year, so that I can make an extra duplicate for this year, I noticed a long trail of propolis along the back of the SBB.

Below is a close up picture of the propolis along the top of the back of the SBB.

Why is there a line of propolis there? Because when I made the SBB last year, I trimmed the piece of wood for the back a little short, and it left a gap between the screened bottom board and the bottom of the brood box.

To help illustrate the gap, I placed a scrap piece of wood where the bottom brood box would go in the picture below.

The bees noticed this gap and filled it with propolis to seal up the hive.

I've seen a lot of beautiful hand crafted bee hives out there...some that look like they were created by highly skilled cabinet makers. I wish my hives looked that good!

And then...there are my hives. I'm not a cabinet maker by any stretch of the imagination, but the girls seemed to accept my "handy work" anyways.

As Red Green often said, "If the women don't find you handsome, they'll at least find you handy."

I'd humbly like to add: "and if not, they'll use propolis to fix it."

If you're building your own hives this spring, don't sweat the small stuff. Relax and enjoy yourself in the workshop, knowing the girls will help fill in the gaps, if needed.

Comments For This Post: (7) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Sandy says...
Date:   February 8, 2012, 5:07 am

Great Blog, but please change the text colour or background, dark blue is difficult to read over dark blue trees!

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   February 8, 2012, 5:30 am

My apologies! I've noticed on occasion the background fails to load properly, leaving it hard to read.  I removed the background picture for now until I get it worked out.

Randy Emmitt says...
Date:   February 8, 2012, 6:08 am

I'm a handyman carpenter, really enjoyed the video clip. To make up for your skills as a hive builder, a good paint job will make the hive look much better. I have been know to add a little caulk to my loose joints.

Mark Martin says...
Date:   February 8, 2012, 10:00 am

Good illustration Chris.  I am currently in the throws up building my own equipment as well and I have been "sweating the small stuff".  Little imperfections here and there as well as some patch jobs where I screwed up.  Thanks for the comments about your own experience as I realize the bees probably don't care.  They will take care of it  =)

A comment about the background image: I find that it takes a lot longer for the background to load than the text does.  So therefore you get a blue text one a mottle "blueish" background.........until the page has loaded all the way.  I'm not sure if it is working the same way for Sandy or not.

Holly says...
Date:   February 20, 2012, 2:37 pm

Isn't propolis amazing!?  That stuff never comes out of coveralls are coated with that stuff after repeat washes. 

HoneyBee says...
Date:   March 16, 2012, 2:45 pm

Propolis sure is glue! The ladies use it to fix the hive, but it also glued my teeth together when my throat was sore and I tried chewing it raw :)))

HoneyBee says...
Date:   March 16, 2012, 2:49 pm

Sorry for the mess, Chris, I tried to link to my propolis blog like an expert and messed it up :)

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