Propolis is a substance of honeybee origin with known antioxidant effects. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of propolis on fracture healing and the antioxidant system in an experimental setting. Thirty-two rats that underwent experimental femur fracture and then fixation were randomly allocated in one of four groups: two control groups (Control-3w and Control-6w) and two treatment groups (Propolis-3w and Propolis-6w). Treatment groups received propolis until killing (at 3 or 6 weeks). X-ray, histological, bone mineral density measurement findings and endogenous antioxidant levels were examined. The bone mineral density was higher, radiological and histological evaluation scores were better, and superoxide dismutase, total glutathione and myeloperoxidase levels were lower among the rats that received oral propolis treatment compared with the controls. In addition, bone mineral density and histological assessment scores showed time-dependent improvement in the treatment group. In conclusion, the findings of this study suggest that propolis has some time-dependent beneficial effects on fracture healing. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.