BACKGROUND Propolis is a bee product widely used in folk medicine and possessing many pharmacological properties. In this study we aimed to investigate: i) the antiviral activities of Hatay propolis samples against HSV-1 and HSV-2 in HEp-2 cell line, and ii) the presence of the synergistic effects of propolis with acyclovir against these viruses. MATERIAL AND METHODS All experiments were carried out in HEp-2 cell cultures. Proliferation assays were performed in 24-well flat bottom microplates. We inoculated 1x105 cells per ml and RPMI 1640 medium with 10% fetal calf serum into each well. Studies to determine cytotoxic effect were performed. To investigate the presence of antiviral activity of propolis samples, different concentrations of propolis (3200, 1600, 800, 400, 200, 100, 75, 50, and 25 μg/mL) were added into the culture medium. The amplifications of HSV-1 and HSV-2 DNA were performed by real-time PCR method. Acyclovir (Sigma, USA) was chosen as a positive control. Cell morphology was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). RESULTS The replication of HSV-1 and HSV-2 was significantly suppressed in the presence of 25, 50, and 100 μg/mL of Hatay propolis. We found that propolis began to inhibit HSV-1 replication after 24 h of incubation and propolis activity against HSV-2 was found to start at 48 h following incubation. The activity of propolis against both HSV-1 and HSV-2 was confirmed by a significant decrease in the number of viral copies. CONCLUSIONS We determined that Hatay propolis samples have important antiviral effects compared with acyclovir. In particular, the synergy produced by antiviral activity of propolis and acyclovir combined had a stronger effect against HSV-1 and HSV-2 than acyclovir alone.