Finding out about the benefits of Propalis

1043 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

3/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

January, 2024

Product name

The International Stingless Bee Centre

Product country

Ghana

Product city

Abrafo Odumase

Travelled with

Couple

Reasons for trip

Culture/Sightseeing

I didn’t know stingless bees existed, so was intrigued by a visit to The International Stingless Bee Centre, which claims to be Ghana’s number one ecotourism site.
The guide produced pictures of the five types of stingless bee. Each builds a different style of entrance to the nest, for example, the Meliponula creates a round entrance, the Dactylurina devises multiple entrances, whilst the Hypotrigona creates a pipe leading to the nest.

Nests found in the wild are transported to the centre where the tree is carefully chopped open, and the bees transferred to an artificial hive or box.

The stingless bees produce highly medicinal honey and propolis, something I’d never heard of. A poster boasted how propolis had successfully treated several types of wounds, including burns and fractures, at a local hospital, whilst another listed 39 benefits ranging from reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure to treating various forms of cancer and leukemia.

We then headed outside to meet the bees with hives dotted around a circular grassy area. Although our guide said we could touch the bees, they refused to go on our fingers: we think they weren’t used to white skin. The Dactylurina with its multiple entrances, had built a head sized nest on a branch and we also saw bee friendly plants in the grounds, and a heather they are said to love.

In a workshop we discovered how the ‘artificial hives’ are made: a box is placed on the tree, with a slimmer box on top and both are wrapped in cellophane with the bees entering via a small hole in the bottom corner. Holes in the bottom box allow the bees to move up and leave their honey, but this is not in the regular honeycombs but in pots.

Tour over, it was time to taste and shop. The honey wasn’t as sweet as regular honey (a small bottle was 100 Cedi or £5.80), but having read about the ailments Propolis could cure, a small bottle for 60 Cedi seemed something not to be missed, especially as I had a slight cold. I diluted this with water and drunk it three times a day, but I’m not sure it improved. I guess it’s one of those things that you need to believe in. On returning home I found it for sale at Holland and Barrett with some positive reviews.

Helen Jackson

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