I want to know what time of year essential oil is most effectively used to treat mites and what methods to use; feeding, paper towel, or tracking strips at the entrance.
[This message has been edited by Got Honey? (edited October 07, 2002).]
I'm not aware if any studies have compared delivery methods, but I've always used syrup in the spring. I was going to try it in FGMO on the top bars (I still use the FGMO) but haven't.
According to what I have read, spring and fall feedings are probably most effective for getting the oils generally dispersed throughout the hive. The paper towel/ oils probably help get the nurse bees that otherwise hang around at the top of the hive around the inner cover. The tracking strips would be most effective for bees that forage and/or rob in controlling mites on the adult bees. Getting the oils into the food chain and into the brood area probably is the highest priority, but I'm not sure. The only method I have used, so far, is through supplemental feeding, and on a mite check I did a couple of weeks ago, I found zero mites in drone brood areas. You can also use grease patties with essential oils on a monthly basis year-round.
I use wintergreen all yr. long as a preventive.
I also use greese pattys with wintergreen on top bars every mo.
I use cannola oil/honey/wintergreen=with paper towels.
with that i use powder sugar/ Eucalyptus oil as preventive for wax moths.
It seem to work for me.
How well does the paper towel method work? does it make a noticable difference?
It probably would not work that well for a general mite control, because it is used primarily to treat displaced nurse bees that hang around at the top of the hive around the inner cover. The bees that chew it up and throw out the paper bits are basically the only ones that would receive the benefit. My guess is that the most effective treatment, if you only want to use one, is the inclusion of essential oils into the feeding. I'm no expert, but from the info I have read, that's the impression I get.
Can essential oils (in grese patties) be used when honey supers are on the hive?
As I understand it, yes. I don't think they put the grease they eat from the patties in the honey cells.
I have done it and have not noticed any flavor in the honey.