Essential Oils
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Thread: Essential Oils

  1. #1
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    Default Essential Oils

    Can you combine Tea Tree oil and Lecithin Granules in the same batch of sugar water?

    I guess the real question is do essential oils actually do anything?

    Thanks for the help!

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Im sure you could .... Besides perhaps disrupt the pheromones of the queen or hive
    "Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren't."

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    I am guessing that would be a bad thing?

    Sorry new to beekeeping.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    May I suggest that first you identify/explain your goal with a specific essential oil mixed into syrup.


    First issue might be does essential oll "X" actually impact goal "A"?

    Once you have that part worked out, the next issue might be "what is the best way to deliver essential oil "X" to achieve goal "A"?
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    I will install my first ever bees in April. I was just looking for something to make sure they start off healthy. I have a OA vaporizer but I wanted to make sure my bees were accustomed to their new hive before I OAed them.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Your bees will start off healthy without the use of essential oils. What your bees are going to need in the beginning is simply a hive, frames to draw wax or if in a top bar, space with top bars, and some carbs in the form of simple syrup. 1:1 ratio will work fine for getting them started. They will go collect the pollen needed to rear brood, etc. They will also bring home nectar on their own.

    Essential oils are normally used for specific purposes. Some of which are to get the bees to feed heavily quickly, to help combat parasitic mite syndrome, etc. However, their are diff thoughts on if they should be used at all in the hives.

    Do yourself a major favor and do plenty of reading about how and what is used, and then some more reading on what concequences are of using.

    I'm not saying to or not to use, just do your due dilligence and study up first.

    Hope that helps..
    Thomas Bartram

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    So can anyone point me in the direction of some good information on essential oils and their impact on bees? I've seen lots of opinions thrown around about it, and some links to some bizarre or obscure websites that talk about oils and probiotics, but are there any clear clean articles or research done on this topic and honey bees specifically? There seems to be a yes good for bees camp, and a no bad for bees camp.

    The reason for my curiosity is this. I had a beek recommend HBH 3 or 4 years ago to improve hive health. He talked it up, so I bought I small bottle of it, and tried it out on two of my hives just to see if there was any difference. If there was a difference it was subtle. Were the hives healthy? Yes. Were they better than all of the other hives I had at the time, yes and no. Some were worse than those two some were better, but from what I have experienced that's typical.

    I used all of that bottle, but never restocked. Those two hives were fine, they wintered well, and that particular winter it was pretty mild and most of my hives wintered well, so I can't really say it helped them or hurt them. Since I didn't see any great effects one way or the other, I just figured it was one less thing I needed to buy.

    That being said, I am still curious as to the extreme opinions of yes essential oils, and no essential oils, and what scientific research has been done with it.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    >So can anyone point me in the direction of some good information on essential oils and their impact on bees?
    EOs kill microbes; LAB in the bees gut.

    Here you go this will get you started:
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0033188

    http://www.futurity.org/honey-bees-s...obiotic-hives/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15279248

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pro...ACCN_NO=426268

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...against-nosema

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Here's some more information about Essential Oils and the study behind Honey Bee Healthy and wintergreen grease patties..

    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...j&pn=LNE98-105
    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...105&y=1998&t=0
    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...105&y=2001&t=1
    Thomas Bartram

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    I kind of want to go back to the question of what you'll be trying to accomplish. Let me give you an example. Suppose I read up on vitamins and decide that taking vitamin X is real good for me in lots of ways. My friends take X and they all feel and look better. So, I take X but somehow manage to catch the flu. Is vitamin X something that either helps prevent or helps alleviate the symptoms of the flu? If yes, did it help? If no, does it matter? Was I taking X for that reason or just because it was supposedly "good for you". As far as essential oils go, I'd be looking at their use to manage very specific issues and monitor those (as well as others just in case). Sometimes, the tendency is to apply a treatment and then look for all the good that it has done. Often, we find it easy to support our own suppositions and expectations.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Quote Originally Posted by drlonzo View Post
    Here's some more information about Essential Oils and the study behind Honey Bee Healthy and wintergreen grease patties.

    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...j&pn=LNE98-105
    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...105&y=1998&t=0
    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...105&y=2001&t=1
    These are all based on a 1996 study done by WVU.
    Here is a link to the WVU site (Last Updated: December 30, 1996)
    http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/varroa/varroa2.htm

    The problem here it that this treatment is a "four-part protocol" . Not just give them some EOs in some syrup a few times and expect something to happen. "(wintergreen, spearmint, and lemongrass) with screened bottom boards, grease patties, sugar syrup feeding, and formic acid fumigation… to control honey bee mites."

    It seems unbelievable how much stuff they had to throw at the bees to make this treatment work. To include formic acid fumigation. Which is known to be an effective treatment by itself. If you’re going to pick one thing from this 1996 study don’t pick the syrup water that during a “flow was excessive and it diluted essential oils to the point that no reduction of mites was observed.” “must be done during a dearth situation” from this WVU EO treatment. Pick the formic acid fumigation. It works!!!

    I did not see in this 1996 study that you can give bees random doses of EO in some amount of sugar water and expect to control mites? Because that what I see here, a whole bunch of new beeks think they can mix their own, or buy hbh (not knowing how much EOs are in it) feed it a few times and expect miracles.

    Wintergreen is one of the most poisonous EOs out there. One teaspoon can kill you. It blocks the queen’s pheromones causing them to supersede their queen. It can cause brood kills. Do you want your storing in the comb?

    I did it too!!! When I was a new beek I used EOs, they are great they smell nice, gave you a nice warm fuzzy feeling you are doing good. In reality it's quite the opposite.

    I have seen for myself the damage it can do to a hive. I have tested it on EFB hives in hopes it could cure them. I challenge any one to try this. Mix syrup with any EO as per the 1996 study. Try to treat a small case of EFB with and you will never use EO again!!! Then and only then will you understand the research studies I posted in the above links. (BTW those are current studies listed in post #8)

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    I kind of want to go back to the question of what you'll be trying to accomplish. Let me give you an example. Suppose I read up on vitamins and decide that taking vitamin X is real good for me in lots of ways. My friends take X and they all feel and look better. So, I take X but somehow manage to catch the flu. Is vitamin X something that either helps prevent or helps alleviate the symptoms of the flu? If yes, did it help? If no, does it matter? Was I taking X for that reason or just because it was supposedly "good for you". As far as essential oils go, I'd be looking at their use to manage very specific issues and monitor those (as well as others just in case). Sometimes, the tendency is to apply a treatment and then look for all the good that it has done. Often, we find it easy to support our own suppositions and expectations.
    Information and knowledge are things that should always be sought after. You should question everything in life otherwise you simply live in a state of uninformed ignorant bliss. If during a limited use they help the hive why would you not consider them? Of course if they harm the hive why would you ever consider them? The questions being raised are these; What harm or good do EO's do? Can they help treat or prevent diseases (short or long term)? Do they make bees susceptible to disease (short or long term)? Does it help prevent pests in the hive? Does it encourage pests in the hive? Can it be used to help the bees in any meaningful way that justifies their use?

    So I'm looking for documented information based on scientific studies and trials done on honey bees that point me in the right direction of whether or not EO's can help manage bees in a beneficial way. The accomplishment is knowledge gained.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    >So can anyone point me in the direction of some good information on essential oils and their impact on bees?
    EOs kill microbes; LAB in the bees gut.

    Here you go this will get you started:
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0033188

    http://www.futurity.org/honey-bees-s...obiotic-hives/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15279248

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pro...ACCN_NO=426268

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...against-nosema
    The first article doesn't deal with essential oils, but really antibiotics, so I'm not really sure it applies to the question.

    The second article is about genetic diversity in the hive and how increased genetic diversity in the hive helps the colony generate and maintain diverse and healthy bacteria in the hive. Nothing about EO's is mentioned.

    The third article once again talks about helpful bacteria and how it can boost the bees immune system over exposure for a period of time. No EO's mentioned.

    The fourth article is about a study they are conducting that started in 2014 but will not conclude until 2019. Something to keep an eye on, but currently contains no useful data.

    The fifth link is to a bee source forum post.


    While informative none of these are studies on EO's and honey bees.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Quote Originally Posted by drlonzo View Post
    Here's some more information about Essential Oils and the study behind Honey Bee Healthy and wintergreen grease patties..

    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...j&pn=LNE98-105
    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...105&y=1998&t=0
    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...105&y=2001&t=1
    This article has some interesting information in it. It looks like they were mostly trying to see if it could help with mite control by mixing it with FA. Some odd statements in the article stating we think, or it does, without a lot of backup for results or data.

    It does however look like HBH might have some beneficial uses for new hive introduction.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Here is an article I found based on a user results. It doesn't look there is any real difference in overwintering while using essential oils.

    http://beeinformed.org/wp-content/up...eyBHealthy.pdf

    This study is in regards to HBH and its efficacy on Nosema

    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...086&y=2011&t=1

    According to the data it showed some positive results in regards to Nosema, but even the study says that more testing would need to be done to come to a solid conclusion.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    from the link posted above.
    http://beeinformed.org/wp-content/up...eyBHealthy.pdf
    "winter colony mortality among beekeepers who reported treating/feeding or not treating/feeding with Honey-B-Healthy"
    "no significant difference"

    So basically it says hbh is WORTHLESS!

    >http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...086&y=2011&t=1
    Nosema spore counts are reduces by the use of antibiotics and some EOs. But that's not why people are using EOs. Most don't even test for nosema. (with the exception to industrial beek operations)

    EOs are being used to give the beekeeper a nice warm fuzzy feeling you are doing good.

    >It does however look like HBH might have some beneficial uses for new introduction.
    Yes LGO has pheromones that are similar to the queen's. Scent of LGO does have some benefits. Queen introduction, hive introduction, combining hives, swarm traps...
    Don't need to put it in their food just cause they like the smell.

    But yet people still feed these pesticides to their bees;
    "Lemongrass oil, and mint and mint oil, are considered by the EPA to be minimum risk pesticides." from that same post.
    Of course it's minimum risk. IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING!

    Except damage and reduce the bee's LAB. The same LAB that fight diseases like AFB, EFB, Nosma...
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4222316/
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...44501310000042
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0033188

    Symbeeotic a product (bee probiotics) they claim can do all kind of good things for bees to include prevent CCD, AFB, EFB... And as seen in the studies listed above bee probiotics prevent diseases.
    So they are cashing in on the damaged LAB caused by the beek, farmer, environment...
    The beek kill the LABs makes the bees vulnerable to disease. Symbeeotic sells it back to make the bees better.

    Think it might be better not to kill the LAB in the first place?
    Seeing we also just showed that EOs do nothing to control mites. And have no significant difference in winter colony mortality.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Flower,

    I don't dispute what your saying, just posting the articles on the research is all. I said in my post it does not seem to improve overwintering conditions. I'm not posting for yes use them or no don't, I'm just trying to find as much information as possible, and placing it here.

    From all the scientific studies I've been reading I would definitely say that I wouldn't feed this to my bees as it would be a waste of money, and possibly hurt them if used over a long period of time. However it does look like a good tool that could be used in beekeeping for certain applications such as bait hives, or introduction to a new hive.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post

    But yet people still feed these pesticides to their bees;
    "Lemongrass oil, and mint and mint oil, are considered by the EPA to be minimum risk pesticides." from that same post.
    Of course it's minimum risk. IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING!

    Apparently essential oils actually do something in West Virginia, or maybe just 1996 West Virginia.

    http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/varroa/varroa2.htm#Recent


    From the page:

    Essential Oils have Two Modes of Action.

    1) Toxicity by direct contact:
    When varroa mites contact essential oils such as wintergreen, patchouli, tea tree oil, et al., mixed into oil or grease, they are killed on contact--usually within a few minutes.

    2) Impaired reproduction via feeding syrups containing essential oils.

    /shrug

    Best of luck, regardless.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    It's already addressed in post #11
    Last edited by FlowerPlanter; 03-18-2015 at 02:22 PM.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Essential Oils

    HBH works well as a feeding stimulant and it also helps to keep the syrup from fermenting.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

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