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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    7

    Default Herbs in the Hive

    I was thinking about growing a bunch of spearmint which contains menthol naturally, and thyme which contains thymol.
    If you were to just throw the plant matter in the top of the hive and let them work away at carrying it out would this not be a very gentle natural way of warding off pests with no harm to the bees? It is relatively cheap and easy (I don't know about thyme, but mint grows like a weed)
    I know that in a way this a treatment but heck putting them in a box isn't exactly natural either, and here in canada we have no choice... if you don't treat your bees they die. I am just trying to find a natural way
    Has anyone tried anything like this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Herbs in the Hive

    I could always visualize the ballpark disparity but JWChestnut posted the math once...
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-293315.html

    It goes like this:

    Commercial Thymol wafers have 12.5 to 15 grams of thymol per treatment dose. (1)

    Solvent extraction of raw thyme with ethanol at a heated 60 C yields 0.007 grams of thymol per gram of leaf material.

    12.5 grams of thymol at full efficient extraction requires 1785 grams of material. For the kilogram challenged, that is 3.9 pounds of leaf. (2)

    Raw leaf is not going to sublimate thymol vapor like a vermiculite wafer soaked in the essential oil, even if you could pack 4 pounds of the herb in the hive.

    The spearmint would be similar...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Herbs in the Hive

    so pretty much a waste of time, and would annoy my bees, correct?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Herbs in the Hive

    >so pretty much a waste of time, and would annoy my bees, correct?

    I wouldn't say it would annoy them, they will just haul it out for trash. They are always hauling out the trash. It's just one more thing... but yes, I think it would be a waste of your time. From my point of view you're trying to solve a problem I don't have...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    richland center, wisconsin USA
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: Herbs in the Hive

    Crazy thoughts early in the morning: Would allowing those plants to bloom, the pollen they provide, increase those chemicals into the food source or bee gut in a more natural way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,028

    Default Re: Herbs in the Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSloan View Post
    I was thinking about growing a bunch of spearmint which contains menthol naturally, and thyme which contains thymol.
    If you were to just throw the plant matter in the top of the hive and let them work away at carrying it out would this not be a very gentle natural way of warding off pests with no harm to the bees? It is relatively cheap and easy (I don't know about thyme, but mint grows like a weed)
    I know that in a way this a treatment but heck putting them in a box isn't exactly natural either, and here in canada we have no choice... if you don't treat your bees they die. I am just trying to find a natural way
    Has anyone tried anything like this?
    A. How is that not a treatment?
    B. Why are you asking about treating in Treatment Free Beekeeping?
    C. It doesn't work at all. It has been tried and doesn't work.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ USA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Herbs in the Hive

    Just an advisory- you can't plant a patch of spearmint. Every year will expand, expand, and expand, eventually taking over very large areas. You have to be very careful with those square stem mint plants. Even potted, they will find a way to get into the ground. Bees love the flowers though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    richland center, wisconsin USA
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: Herbs in the Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeonefarms View Post
    Crazy thoughts early in the morning: Would allowing those plants to bloom, the pollen they provide, increase those chemicals into the food source or bee gut in a more natural way.
    Has increasing or changing up the natural food source been tried with any success?
    "Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren't."

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