I am now on the organic email loop - where the oils are not discussed.
Michael, you are still using the oils?
I will be getting my bees, frames brood & honey/pollen in 2 weeks - yeah the easter bunny is selling them to me. Any who, the girl I am buying them from does IPM and only uses the chemicals when she feels she has to.
So, when my bee families get here should I give them a grease pattie? sugar syrup? (dandylions are everywhere, my iris are starting to bud). I bought a manuscript from a man in SE Missouri about chemical free beekeeping. He uses the oils, liquid lethacin (spelling - I've had no coffee yet) - I've also wondered about the crystal Vit C someone else uses on this board.
I have a screened BB for both of the hives and the 4.9 cell foundation will be here soon. What she will give me will be the regular sized cell foundation.
Should I spray a little mist of syrup w/oils on the 4.9 to get them excited about moving on it?
Martha in KC and tired.
Liquid lecithin isn't as good as granules.
I'm going into my hives this weekend if it's warm for the first thorough exam....
I'm going to see how many drone brood there are....
I'm going to extinquish some of the drone brood if there is lots of it.
Time to feed honey bee healthy.
The lemon grass is an insect repellent. It's possible that as the bees use it, the mites are repelled by it.
I think I'll put on menthol crystals as well.
And add my thymol stuff to fabric to be laid inside the hive bodies.
I don't think I'll be spraying or adding other things just yet.
I hope your girls produce you some very fine honey this year....
>I am now on the organic email loop - where the oils are not discussed.
Michael, you are still using the oils?
No. I haven't used essential oils for a couple of years now.
>So, when my bee families get here should I give them a grease pattie?
The grease patties are for the Tracheal mites. If you aren't doing anything else for Tracheal mites I'd use them. If you're fogging FGMO or using Oxalic acid or small cell, all of these work on Tracheal mites. I used the grease patties until I started fogging FGMO and then I quit.
>sugar syrup? (dandylions are everywhere, my iris are starting to bud).
Feeding a package or a nuc is good to get them started. Personally I have nothing against sugar syrup to help out the bees, but I don't like the idea of stealing all their honey and then getting them to stock back up on syrup for the winter. Of course honey is what I think is best, but I do feed a lot of syrup when I think they need it and a package starting off needs a good start.
>I bought a manuscript from a man in SE Missouri about chemical free beekeeping. He uses the oils, liquid lethacin (spelling - I've had no coffee yet)
The purpose of the lecithin is to get the oils to dissolve. I always put them in honey first and mix them well and let them set a few days then mix the honey with the syrup. Honey is a natural emoulsifier also.
>- I've also wondered about the crystal Vit C someone else uses on this board.
Topbarguy uses it to get the bees more interested in the pollen patties. I just put dry pollen mixed with pollen substitute in a nuc box with not frames away from the hives and the bees use it until the real pollen comes in. They don't take the patties well. I even had the Bee pro patties this year because I won them as a door prize. The bees ignored them and took the dry pollen from the feeder instead.
>Should I spray a little mist of syrup w/oils on the 4.9 to get them excited about moving on it?
If you have some lemongrass oil or Honey Bee Healthy it tends to improve acceptance of plastic. If it's plastic 4.9 you might want to do that. But honestly I don't think you'll have a problem either way, but especially not if it's wax.
Can't say what will work for everyone, but I did the FGMO fog every couple of weeks (not the cords) and small cell and then did Oxalic acid (with Topbarguys evaporator) in the fall and one more time in the spring.
It's not only working, but according to the inspector, and I watched him check every hive, there are NO mites. I didn't see any and he did sugar rolls on all the strong hives and we found none. Seperating boxes of PermaComb opened a lot of drone cells and there were none in them either.
I will try to get all of this yard on small cell and skip the FGMO and see how they do. If they are doing well in the fall, I think I will skip the Oxalic acid in the fall.
Why did you stop using essential oils? Were they ineffective or not cost effective? Or..??
I'm going to experiment with essential oils in some of my hives and am interested in your experiences with them. Any observations would be much appreciated.
>Why did you stop using essential oils? Were they ineffective or not cost effective? Or..??
The only ones I every used were Honey Bee Healthy, Lemongrass oil (which is in HBH) and Wintergreen. I think they are not as effective as small cell. They require constant treatment were regression is a one time thing. IMO they are really only useful for their anti microbial properties and boosting the bees immune system. Maybe they suppress mites, but I wouldn't count on that.
>I'm going to experiment with essential oils in some of my hives and am interested in your experiences with them. Any observations would be much appreciated.
I mixed the wintergreen in the grease patties and fed it in syrup. The nicest thing about it was the syrup didn't mold.
It did not stop the mites but seemed to help with the viruses. Since I don't have any mites now, I don't see a lot of reason to try to protect from the viruses that the mites spread.
I just don't think they are the answer to the problem. I was looking to find a stable natural system, not another set of more natural (less unnatural?) treatments.
I think you are on the right path MB.
If you can do without intervention, then good.
I hope to use less this year too. I think intervention is good while a hive is getting established. I don't think a hive can get established in one year.
Another thing I don't like about anything but honey for feed (syrup or syrup with essential oils), besides better overwintering and less nosema, is I like being in a position where honey is just honey. Over the last three decades I usually have not used an excluder and I don't have clear cut off where the brood nest is. Without essential oils or any other chemicals and without syrup, I know antyhing in stores is good, edible, unadulterated honey. No syrup. No funny flavors from the essential oils. No poisonious chemicals. No antibiotics. Just honey.
It greatly simplifies my management.
To clarify though, I DO feed syrup when I don't have enough honey.
I'm not getting a package of bees with a can and a queen. Sorry, I guess I should have been clearer (it's Holy Week all I do is sing and sing).
I am getting 3 frames of brood, a queen and frames with honey and pollen, plus other bees. She is taking my hivebodies (bottom and top) to her farm to put in the frames, queen and other bees. Then I go out in the evening and bring my bee families home.
I just didn't know if I would need to give them something in addition to what they have and what is blooming around here.
I'm sure not going to give them any chemicals - other that possibly the oils in a grease patty or feeder.
Thanks for the tip for my small cell acceptance. I'll replace her reg sized cell frames when I am able. Will the center frames always be full of brood? I'm just wondering how to sneak them in without making more problems than helping.
You guys are all such great help.
OH! And the unlimited brood box. I Understand about brushing the bees off the frames and taking the capped honey. But if she goes to the top making a chimney, do I kill the brood in the center of the frame to take the honey? I'd hate to do that.
>Thanks for the tip for my small cell acceptance. I'll replace her reg sized cell frames when I am able. Will the center frames always be full of brood?
Always is always wrong. Most of the time, yes.
>I'm just wondering how to sneak them in without making more problems than helping.
Just put them on the outside until they have a nice strong cluster filling the width of the box then start moving the bigger ones to the outside and some blank ones to the middle. The empty foundation makes a bit of a cold spot in the middle of the brood nest, so you want a strong cluster before you do this.
>OH! And the unlimited brood box. I Understand about brushing the bees off the frames and taking the capped honey. But if she goes to the top making a chimney, do I kill the brood in the center of the frame to take the honey? I'd hate to do that.
I never do. Of course I also try to run all the same size frames so I can just move them where I want them. But you can just leave the brood where you find it and take frames with no brood. If there's only one or two cells I'll go ahead and cut it out and harvest, but otherwise I leave it to emerge.