Re: Need a Thymol Liquid Recipe for Varroa
If you don't know the percentage of thymol in your solution any "recipe" will contain a fair amount of guesswork. If I was treating colonies I would purchase a know product before simply mixing something up...
Some years back I feed thymolated syrup to my bees following Randy Oliver's directions for diluting the thymol crystals.
From Randy Oliver's website :
Thymolated syrup formula
Update: this strength of thymolated syrup does not appear to control nosema! I am currently undertaking a trial at 3x strength. My current recommendation is to use FumagilB in syrup per label directions.
OK, here’s how you make the premix. You can use either ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. The cheapest and easiest is 91% isopropyl alcohol from the drug store (70% will also work, but won’t dissolve as much thymol). Isopropyl alcohol is relatively nontoxic to insects, and the small amount won’t hurt your bees. I wouldn’t use denatured ethanol, since they add nasty “ingestion deterrents.” Theoretically, you can dissolve 1g of thymol in 1ml of pure alcohol, but in practice this is difficult, and the solution doesn’t mix well with water.
What works well is to add 12.5 grams of thymol crystals 88ml of of 91% isopropyl alcohol (total volume = 100ml) (from the drug store, isopropyl alcohol is not harmful to bees at this concentration; 70% works, but not as well; 151 proof Everclear grain alcohol or 160 proof vodka works great, and is less toxic to bees than isopropyl).
Add 2ml of premix per gallon of syrup (2 tsp per 5 gallons). Slowly pour the premix into the hot water that you’re using to mix syrup (watch the fumes) and stir vigorously until thoroughly mixed. Note that thymol sinks in alcohol, but floats in water, and will rise to the surface of the syrup until it is thoroughly dissolved by stirring. The premix can also be added to the bottom of a tank as you fill it with warm HFCS. Caution: you should always wear nitrile gloves when handling thymol, if for nothing else, to remind you not to rub your eyes! If you do get it on your skin, wash it off with warm water—cold water won’t dissolve it.
OK, OK, I’ll do even more math for you, in order to help you to avoid mistakes. Here’s a really simple way of making the premix. Take a 1 pint (473ml) bottle of 91% alcohol, mark the fill level, then pour the alcohol out. Then weigh 59g of thymol crystals, and pour them carefully into the empty bottle. Then pour about three quarters of the alcohol back in, recap, and shake until the alcohol’s dissolved. Then top off back the the original fill level with alcohol. You now have a bottle of premix that will thymolate (dontcha just love the sound of that word?) 236 gallons of syrup. Similarly for a liter bottle, put in 125g thymol, and top off to 1 liter with alcohol. For God’s sake, immediately relabel the bottle so that no one rubs it on their skin (I guarantee you, they’re not gonna drink it)! Any of these premixes can be added at the rate of 2ml per gallon of syrup.
Trying to think inside the box...