Propolis is a chemically complex resinous bee product, containing material collected from buds or exudates of plants (resin), volatile substances and beeswax (1–3). Propolis has gained popularity as an alternative medicine or food for health amelioration and disease prevention in various parts of the world, including the United States of America, the European Union and Japan.
Elsewhere in this volume (4) information is given about uses and properties of propolis and an account about difficulties dealing with aspects of origin and variation in chemical composition of green propolis, namely Brazilian propolis derived mainly or exclusively from alecrim plants (Baccharis dracunculifolia).
The present study aims to raise new data about collection of resin by bees visiting apices of alecrim plants and to verify the anatomical characteristics of alecrim vestiges in resin and propolis, as a means to search propolis botanical origin. It aims also to compare (i) the chemical composition of alecrim apices, (ii) freshly collected resin mass and (iii) propolis of nearby hives, with the purpose of evaluating the degree of chemical congruence among the three materials.