Essential Oils

Discussion in 'Organic Beekeeping' started by Bitty Bee, May 22, 2010.

  1. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    I don't know about the liquid peppermint, but the essential oils in sugar syrup does seem to work very well. We do it almost every time we have to feed syrup. We also put lemongrass essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil in syrup, instead of peppermint. The bees really like that.
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    You might want to look up also some bee recipes for 'grease patties' with essential oils.

    HBH had some sort of lecithin to act as an emulsifier to get the oils to blend. Remember oil and water don't mix well, so drops of oil in a 1:1 syrup might not want to mix.
     

  3. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    I put in spearmint, lemongrass, and thyme in my sugar water but also add 1t or so of lecithin to bind the oils w/ the water.
     
  4. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Yes, a couple of drops of spearmint oil is fine. We don't use any lecithin and haven't noticed a problem in 1:1 syrup. We don't use ANY oils though if we think it may provoke robbing.... such as in the middle of a dearth or in a weaker hive or sprayed onto the bees while we are working them, we only feed oils in the hive. Call me paranoid, I just don't want to be the cause of an episode of robbing.

    Beehunter.... what type of thyme do you use? I've considered it but wasn't sure if I needed to find an essential oil of thyme or make a very weak tea like we do with chamomile.
     
  5. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    I found san essential thyme to put in. Its prety strong so I use a drop or 2 less than lemongrass and spearmint. I've planted thyme in my bee yard also. I dont know if it helps keep the bad bugs away but worth a try!
     
  6. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    thats the idea! I hope it does. They dont seem to mind it in the sugar water!
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I made my bees grease patties this week and they are eating them.
    Crisco (dislodges any trachea mites if they perchance have any, and encourages more grooming), sugar, some honey, and essential (food grade) oils of wintergreen, thyme, and lemongrass.
     
  8. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    We also put essential oils in fondant when we feed it.
     
  9. fatbeeman

    fatbeeman New Member

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    hello
    what I do to emulsify oils in water is use a blender at low speed foe least 5 full min. that will keep it mixed up to 3-4 months.
    Don
     
  10. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    I was looking for a method to deter ants and read that tea tree oil repels them. What surprised me was to find that essential oils are used in treating tracheal and veroa mites in bees, specifically wintergreen and tea tree oil. I used cinnamon first in an attempt to keep the ants out of the hive feeder but they seemed to find a way around it right after the rain that came through last night.

    I don't have hives that are on legs but they are raised on concrete pads with blocks of cedar to raise them up for air circulation underneath. The oil in a pan idea won't work so I needed something that I might spray around the bottom without hurting the bees. I mixed a solution of the tea tree oil with water and using a garden sprayer was able to target just the very bottom edge of the concrete pad where the ants are coming up. It seemed to stir the ants up and the bees did not seem to have a problem with it.

    I have been out there several times to check on everything because I was worried the scent might make the bees upset, but they seem to be fine. Has anyone else here thought of using that as an ant repellent and if so have you had success with it? I will be anxious to see how everything looks in the morning. If I use it in the sugar feed, how much would I mix with it? That too may deter ants from wanting the feed.

    Also, I have read that using tea tree oil in the feed for treatments against mites is not to be used if you want to harvest the honey they are making for consumption. Peppermint or spearmint oils may work just as well as ant repellents without causing an issue with the honey. Any thoughts on this?
     
  11. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    If when you say 'in the feed' by mixing it in with sugar syrup feed, then you should not be feeding any syrup at all when you have honey supers on and are hoping to get honey to eat. If you are feeding syrup when your supers are on then you are going to get sugar syrup in your comb to harvest, not HONEY. Beekeepers do not feed syrup while the honey supers are on. Stop feeding all syrup before you put on honey supers.
     
  12. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    I understand Omie what you mean about not feeding them sugar syrup with the honey supers being on. I am actually anxious to be able to remove those feeders myself so the little critters and do their normal thing. I did not mean to be confusing, and the article I read on that was actually about treating for tracheal mites by mixing tea tree oil in grease patties and other feeds for bees to consume. I believe the reason it said not to use it during seasons when honey is collected for human consumption may be due to tea tree oil being toxic to humans. I am still trying to learn more about these treatments before I use them. I have included a link to what I read here. It seemed to have some interesting information concerning other essential oils used in beekeeping. If you have any other info on this I would appreciate what help you might give me in learning more.

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Beekeeping ... ease_Patty

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Beekeeping ... ntial_Oils

    I did notice that after treating around the bases of the hives with tea tree oil and water mixture that the ants seemed to subside. It did not appear to aggrivate the bees and they continue to come and go as normal. In the morning I will check again and see if the ants have found a way around the barrier.
     
  13. beecrazy101

    beecrazy101 New Member

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    I have been using essential oils added to my bee tea. I also use honey I take out of their own hives once in a while. In fact I have to go cut a little out again. I use thyme and eucalyptus which I have read helps with nosema and disentary. Only a few drops per quart. The thyme is very strong. Can smell it through the bottle. The bees are loving it. I got my bees from Don (fatbeeman) which I bought two five frame nucs and then found a queen cell capped in a week and did a split which took off like crazy and is in its own eight frame deep. Then I went ahead and bought two NWC queens which came in Thursday and put in two frames from each hive with bees on the frames, which I know I am doing some weak splits, but they are working. I also got my two and half acres cleared and getting a friend to plow so I can plant a bunch of herbs. I have done an extensive search on herbs which bees use more and some they may use less. If done right, you can have the bees enough work for 10 months out of the year. Who needs chemicals when you can let the bees take care of themselves. Also I would like to say Thanks Don. Your one of a kind.