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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Pisgah Forest, NC, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Drawback of using essential oils?

    Not trying to stir up a debate here, but I would like some of the treatment free folks to chime in and provide me with some information about the drawbacks of using essential oils like wintergreen oil, tee-tree oil, and lemon grass oil. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Drawback of using essential oils?

    Not treatment free, but I'll chime in...as I understand it the oils prevent the growth of things like bacteria, mold, yeast, and fungus. They def. do this. That sounds benign until you realize that the bees need these things to make bee bread and also, like us, they have a host of beneficial organisms in their gut. I'm quite undecided on whether an occasional dose of an EO makes a huge difference one way or the other in a hive, but that's the biggest drawback that I've heard proposed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Drawback of using essential oils?

    I'm still not sold on the idea that they even work. For every study I've read that sings their praises, there is another that disputes them. I do bait swarm traps with lemongrass oil but other than that I don't use them anymore.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: Drawback of using essential oils?

    The essential oils in "honey be healthy" will draw every robbing bee and yellow jacket for miles. Have half a bottle I bought last summer and haven't used since 3 weeks after I bought it.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,598

    Default Re: Drawback of using essential oils?

    It trying to be as treatment free as possible, I tried growing a lot of herbs this year to offer the bees essential oils, pollen and some nectar, etc..naturally. I have to say I have very, very low mite counts in 80 colonies going into the winter. I have screened BB on all hives-inserting the board now to close them off for the winter months, but there is still the screened effect for mite drop. I grew several types of thyme, rosemary, english lavender, dill, basil, oregano, lemon grass etc. I am impressed and will do it again next year. Maybe placebo effect...but what the heck!
    Thats the thyme in full bloom. (I grew most herbs in pots)




    Heres some young lavender in a large pot with purple fountain grass and a sedum:


    Below: Young lavender plants and Bayleaf plants:


    People who came to visit the beeyard really loved the herbs all lined up. I'll be raising them to sell next year with my queens. Already got my seeds from 'Johnneys'

    http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-3-herbs.aspx

    May I suggest an excellent book from Nationel Geographic...Get it at Amazon.com

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/079...ls_o03_s00_i00

    I also attribute my low mite count to healthy feeding when necessary-both syrup and protein patties, including a LOT of Cider vinegar and electrolytes with vitamins.
    I had a lot of mating nucs I had to feed and am right at the limit for hives in one area. (Most of my colonies are double nucs) So feeding was necessary.
    I try not to let my colonies ever be stressed. I feel this keeps them in a healthy balance and strong to keep pests and diseases in check.

    Lauri Miller
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Miller...56954971040510
    Last edited by Lauri; 10-13-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Drawback of using essential oils?

    Lauri,
    That's a great looking setup you have there, I really like all you herb pots and plantings.

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