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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    275

    Default Syrup Feeding, Mixing and Adding Essential Oils

    I have taken off all the honey for human consumption and began feeding the hive, particularly as I want the new queen to establish.

    I have been using a 2:1 syrup, with a drop of wintergreen and a drop of lemongrass oil, and a tablespoon of honey (the bee's own). Is that ok to do??



    I have found mixing easy by using my stand mixer, set on low it can stir the mixture for me and it saves risking overcooked syrup on the stove.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: Syrup Feeding, Mixing and Adding Essential Oils

    You need some kind of emulsifier for the oils because sugar does not do a very good job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Syrup Feeding, Mixing and Adding Essential Oils

    A splash of apple cider vinegar will work better than essential oils, of which you are adding WAY too much.

    A few drops of essential oil in a pint of syrup plus emulsifier works for a stock solution, of which one then uses a teaspoon per gallon of 2:1 syrup.

    A drop per gallon of pure oil may turn them off the syrup all together! Vinegar is easier, and believe me, they suck it down. My weak hive is taking almost a gallon a day at the moment of 1:1 with some vinegar added.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Syrup Feeding, Mixing and Adding Essential Oils

    Peter, what is the apple cider vinegar for, a feed attractant? Or is it intended also to be medicinal?

    They are sucking down the syrup like billy-ho, but I will stop putting in the essential oils, which were more of a IPM miticide. I will do a couple of sugar shakes before winter sets in instead.

    It occurred to me that while the commercial beekeepers have to stay in business and so may need to use treatments to keep the bees and crops going, I am not a commercial beekeeper and I should treat the bees, natural remedies or not, as little as possible to try to contribute to the work of breeding up pest and disease resistant bees who can go feral and survive.

    I will save the essential oils for queen acceptance in tough situations!

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