Biodynamic farming methods are organic and mean not only great products but aim to leave land more fertile than before and to strongly encourage nature's forces. Biodynamic beekeeping is part of this holistic agricultural approach and absolutely rejects harmful commercial practices such as clipping a queen's wings (so bees won't swarm elsewhere), harvesting honey early and too frequently, feeding bees refined sugar solution in winter (so that they won't consume their honey) or substituting flour for pollen stored in the hive (pollen being a staple bee food). The aim is to encourage contented, healthy bees, appreciating their beneficial plant pollination activity, and taking only what the bees don't need.
Biodynamic beekeeping ensures that hives are carefully positioned to suit the bees' needs, in unpolluted areas with abundant vegetation. The hives are made of natural materials only and the harvesting is done with great care. If theres's a harsh winter and bees need extra food, a biodynamic hive receives a special organic honey and chamomile tea. Honey is extracted centrifugally at temperatures below 35 degrees Centigrade to retain vitamins, amino acids and mineral salts, and there are strict rules about mixing and storage. The intention is to maximise natural potency of all the bee products by not over-processing, whilst scrupulously maintaining purity and hygiene.
Apodea honey is a millefiori (thousand flower type).
See some of the Apodea bee forage plants
Propolis comes from the resin on buds of certain trees which is collected and elaborated by the bees then used for sealing-off purposes in the hive. Historically, propolis was called 'Bee Glue' in English and a little-understood by-product. Now propolis is known to be antiseptic, anti-fungal, and to have soothing and healing properties. There is still research to be done including more studies looking at the variation between propolis from different locations.
Propolis has a variable composition as follows: 50-55% balsamic resins, 23-25% wax, 10% volatile essential oils, 5% pollen, 5% organic materials and minerals. Propolis' particular biological activity is determined by its flavonoid content (pinocembrin, galangrin, chrysine in the case of Apodea's), essential oils, resins, wax, mineral salts and trace vitamins.