Plant resins – Novel antimicrobial properties of honeybee propolis in human and animal health (with Gary Gardner and Marla Spivak)

We are involved in a CFANS funded collaborative project with Gary Gardner and Marla Spivak (Entomology) to investigate the antimicrobial and antiviral properties of propolis, a plant derived product collected by bees with a long history of use for its antimicrobial and health properties. The project uses metabolic profiling techniques designed to isolate active fractions from highly complex mixtures and is guided by high throughput methods for analysis of bacterial and viral inhibitory activity. The specific goals of the project are 1) to investigate the chemical components of plant resins from different botanical origins that are collected by honey bees and 2) to identify those components in propolis that are responsible for the biological activity against bee- and human-related bacteria and viruses.The results of these studies will have strong significance for human health issues as this information will help us to better understand the potential health-promoting effects of phytochemicals present in a product collected from honey bee colonies. In addition, the results will also have great potential benefit with respect to honey bee health and other agricultural uses, which are major concerns for the agricultural industry.