I bought peppermint oil at a health food store and paid $5 for 5 ml(less than a tablesppon), which seems very expensive. Does anyone know of a less expensive source, or even how to make oils from fresh mint leaves?
Also--while cleaning out some deep combs stored in my basement, I found many cells filled with a light brown or black, sawdust like, powder. (The combs were quite messy when I stored them.) The cell walls are intact, so I don't think the powder is due to wax moths.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Many thanks to all the generous people who answer fellow beekeepers' questions. Your help is greatly appreciated!
I grt my oils at
4518 Aurelius Road
P.O. Box 22009
Lansing, Michigan 48909
or toll free
or by fax
The last I purchased was Spearmint oil 1 ounce for $3.99
Be sure to mention that you are a Beekeeper to get the cheeper prices.
They seem to have it all in stock and a lot of great info on the oils used for beekeeping
My guess is the "sawdust" is wax moths.
Hi Margot, The sawdust couldn't be pollen, could it?
Michael, I thought wax moths destroyed combs. However, I plan to put the frames in the unheated attic of our barn, where temperatures are well below freezing, later this winter, to try to get rid of any wax moths.
Jim, the powdery substance was not on the frames when I stored them, and some of it is very grey -- not a typical pollen color-- so I doubt that the substance is pollen.
Sawdust.... Wax moths do destroy comb. But they like to tunnel around, and get into places that you can see, to lay eggs. If you are going to put the in an unheated attic, it better freeze, or the larvae will emerge again when it gets warm. I would put them in a garbage bag, and stick them in the freezer first, then store them. I store my things in a barn, but it does freeze there, and the eggs freeze too. I have not had problems the last few years that I put them there. Just my opinion...
It sounds like you might have power post beetles they leave very fine power like finner then saw dust. look closer and smell your frames if they smell moldy or sour melt them. they should smell fresh and like honey smell.
Good luck Don
I have seen a fine powder that looks like sawdust in the trail of wax moth larvae. Sometimes it's not obvious that they have cut through the middle of a comb, back from the front enough that you don't notice. If you look closer, and it is wax moths then you will find a trail somwhere and that trail will have fine webs in it. When the moths are really bad then you see the whole frame full of web etc. But when it's just a larvae or two and they haven't had time to do that much damage, it just looks like a few cells with some dust stuck in them. If you look close it stuck in the web.
If you shop around, you can probably find a better price on some of the essential oils. I mostly use lemon grass oil and spearmint, and I found a health food store that carries larger bottles with a better price per oz.
I probably do have wax moths, so I'm freezing frames, a few at a time, to try to control the infestation.
Also, I've just come across a magazine, Herb Companion, that has lots of ads and websites for essential oils. I plan to contact several of them to check out prices.