New Zealand has developed a propolis industry that provides opportunities for profitable participation by beekeepers. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there were similar opportunities in propolis harvest for Australian beekeepers.
The study has shown that the absence of consistent buyers and local processors has held back the development of an Australian propolis industry. However, this situation is starting to change. There is now a single commercial propolis processor supplying a consumer product manufacturer and other parties are considering commercial investment in propolis processing. Niche processors, who are also beekeepers, produce simple propolis tinctures. Participation in these emerging value chains will provide modestly profitable opportunities for Australian beekeepers, especially those operating at a smaller-scale.
Australian beekeepers should consider the analysis contained within this report and prepare their own propolis production budgets before committing to the industry. They should also make contact with propolis buyers prior to industry entry to ensure there is clear agreement on quality expectations.