Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A resinous substance collected from the buds of certain trees by bees and used as a cement or sealant in the construction of their hives.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An aromatic glue-like substance produced by honeybees from tree resin, waxes, and their own secretions, used in the construction of their hives.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as Bee glue, under bee.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A red, resinous, odorous substance having some resemblance to wax and smelling like storax.

Etymologies

Latin, from Greek, suburb, bee glue (from the fact that it was originally the name of a structure around the opening into the hive) : pro-, before; see pro-2 + polis, city; see pelə-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin propolis, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek πρόπολις ("suburb; propolis") (apparently because the material was used by bees to extend their hives), from Ancient Greek προ- ("pro-") + πόλις ("city"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • According to the Scottish nutritionist, propolis is necessary because "bees have no immune system".

    Bee nonsense

  • But small spaces, they'll actually fill with a material called propolis, which is a resin they gather from tress, because they seal it.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Bees seal their hives with a sticky substance known as propolis or bee glue, which is collected from plants.

    Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible

  • Others walk carefully all round the inside of the hive to see if there are any cracks in it; and if there are, they go off to the horse-chestnut trees, poplars, hollyhocks, or other plants which have sticky buds, and gather a kind of gum called "propolis," with which they cement the cracks and make them air-tight.

    The Fairy-Land of Science

  • In this dilemma the ingenious little bees fetch the gummy "propolis" from the plant-buds and cement the intruder all over, thus embalming his body and preventing it from decaying.

    The Fairy-Land of Science

  • In labeling and promotional materials, the company claimed bee byproducts such as propolis can cure or prevent diseases such as asthma, dermatitis, ulcers, cancer, kidney disease, bone fractures and insomnia.

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • "There's been talk of fossil amber or propolis which is produced by bees.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • Egyptian Magic:The ingredients are olive oil, bees wax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and bee propolis.

    Jesse Kornbluth: 10 Great Things You're Not Likely to Get (Kisses if You Give Them)

  • Food-based nutrients that help support the skin include bee pollen and propolis, which prevent wrinkles; grapefruit, which improves the complexion; papaya and pineapple; essential fatty acid–containing foods such as fish, flax, and avocado oils, to help improve the visual appearance of the skin; and cucumber, carrot, cabbage, garlic, and ginger juice.

    Best in Beauty

  • More than ever I was convinced that I was where I wanted to be, in a place where a good soul like Kekua knew propolis but not Sherlock Holmes, and as for books -- as Buddy used to say, "We don't read 'em, we just chew on the covers."

    Beard

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Comments

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  • bee's glue, not bee's wax

    February 11, 2007