Propolis blocking speakers: recommendation on cleaning?



My app keeps showing that the BuzzBox hive has collapsed, but it’s a false reading. It’s due to the bees propolising over the speakers for the BuzzBox. Since mine is the original (mounted onto the brood box) it’s harder to clean the propolis off unless I remove almost all of the frames, reach in & scrape it away.

Does anyone have a quicker method to clear the speakers? What type of tools do you use to scrape the propolis off? Or is there something to put over it so they can’t propolize it so much? In the video the new frame mounted BuzzBox seems to be covered by a small burlap sac(?). Maybe this could be incorporated over the brood box mounted BuzzBox somehow? I’d love any ideas you’ve tried!


Hi there,

Sorry to hear youre having this issue. When you say the bees are covering the mic, where exactly are they propilising? Where is your BuzzBox mounted?

If your BuzzBox is mounted externally, I might suggest cutting out some burlap and stapling it over the hole you cut to mount the BuzzBox. This should stop them propolising over the sensor, without disrupting audio / temp / humidity flow too much.



I had same problem, small tiny holes on microphone outlet were blocked (sealed) with propolis.
Relocated bees to a new hive, took BuzzBox of the hive, clean propolis off with methylated spirit and ‘cotton wool tips’ (the one that people use to clean their ears with), and also cleaned small holes with small tiny flat screwdriver (the one that watchmakers use), removed propolis from the holes and cleaned all around. You could remove the motherboard from the BuzzBox, just to make sure that you don’t damage anything behind it when screwdriver is in hole. Reassemble the box, reinstall the box on beehive, cut to size and install stainless steel woven wire mesh No.8 (with 2.5mm holes in it), while you are installing the BuzzBox, to stop bees get to it. That’s about it.

Hope it helps.

S Golovin


Nice, good technique! Let us know how that works as a long tern solution :honeybee:


Thanks Tristan. Thanks for your suggestion. It’s mounted on the back side of the deep super brood box under the cutout handle (Langstroth hive) directly in the middle.
I have been removing 4+ frames to have some room, then once the BuzzBox is clear I’ve been using a pointed metal scraping tool to scrape away the propolis out of the speaker “holes” on the inside of the brood box. At first I couldn’t figure out why the app said my colony kept collapsing when that wasn’t the case. But the OS team told me to keep the speakers clear of the propolis.

I ended up using a little burlap to cover the speakers. Will report back if it lasts &/or how long it lasts. I’m getting 3 packages at the end of this month.


Last May I had the same problem, so I installed this perforated cloth over the hole from the inner side of the hive. Had no issues since then.
Bees were propolising the cloth but still there was enough room for the speaker to function.

I hope I can get some more recent pics later on this month.