Essential oils - food grade only?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
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    72

    Default Essential oils - food grade only?

    I am looking at making a knock off 'Honey Bee Healthy' which calls for a number of essential oils. Finding food grade is somewhat difficult and more expensive. So my question is do any of you use essential oils for various reasons with your bees that are not food grade?

    thanks john

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    2,775

    Default Re: Essential oils - food grade only?

    It is probable that most beekeepers never use essential oils at all, except lemon grass in swarm traps. I am not sure how much that increases the probability of catching a swarm over using no oil. This use of lemon grass would not require it to be food grade.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Essential oils - food grade only?

    I can't remember reading much consensus on the benefits of essential oils. I mean from serious, controlled experiments, not anecdotal claims. Many of them do have miticide capabilities but their bee lethality safety margins are rather narrow. There was an experiment done which may have contributed HBH popularity where it appeared to reduce mortality when combined with extended formic acid treatments. Have not heard how repeatable the results are or the supposed mechanism.

    I purchased the ingredients to do the DIY formula (not the food grade items though) but never got around to it. I switched to OA and the HBHealthy ingredients, plus a bottle of Mann Lakes version, along with the Formic acid is still on the shelf!
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
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    72

    Default Re: Essential oils - food grade only?

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    It is probable that most beekeepers never use essential oils at all, except lemon grass in swarm traps. I am not sure how much that increases the probability of catching a swarm over using no oil. This use of lemon grass would not require it to be food grade.
    Agreed, I do use LGO in swarm traps. My use will be as part of another recipe so will need to use some although in quite low concentrations.

    thanks

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
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    72

    Default Re: Essential oils - food grade only?

    thanks Crofter. NOt sure if I will pursue but I have run across numerous references to the use of HBH on many forums. I was considering making my own pollen patties which calls for a small amount of HBH ...

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Essential oils - food grade only?

    https://docplayer.net/14544077-James...rt-noel-2.html

    Here is a link to experiment that touted the benefits of honey B healthy as an addition to formic acid. My suspicious mind says that it is the addition of 15% hbh reduced the effective concentration of formic acid. I have read other places that 45 - 50% is safer than the normal 65%.

    New Directions Aromatics is a good supplier both US and Can. online sites. It was fun but a small bottle from Mann lake is cheaper. You only need a few drops (if any)

    If it was so effective everyone would be including it in a formic acid based miticides and their pollen subs: Get your patent on it before the word gets out!
    Frank

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Essential oils - food grade only?

    good study thanks for the link Crofter.

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