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Essential Oil Drench

8750 Views 20 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  jdittemore
The March 2010 Bee Culture has a great article on essential oils page 63. Written by Ross Conrad. I consider it a must read.

In a nutshell he has spoken to several commercial beekeepers, who are having great results drenching week hives with a strong dose of HBH type essential oils.
Results, less nosima, less mites, almost no CCD, weak hives start booming.

I mixed 1 tsp HBH into one cup of 1:1 sugar water, & poured it over my bee's. This is 4x the normal dose used too feed.

Take it for what you will, but I'm definitely interested in more reports.
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I saw the same article and thought I would give it a try this summer. Of course, that will still be 2 months away...:(

Dan, When you say you poured it over your bees... did you actually pour it? I was wondering if I could spray them instead? I sometimes use the sugar water spray instead of smoking them, so I could "kill 2 birds with one stone" as they say.
Hi Newbee,
I don't see why not, but it would take a lot of spray, too get a whole cup on the bees & frame tops.
I mist my bees with EO's when I notice a high mite count using a garden sprayer. It works great and knocks the mites down to pretty close to zero. I have posted the recipes here before and the procedures. I also feed EO's to my bees and have seen great results. Randy Oliver and I talked about this and the success I was having with it last May. For misting just fill a garden sprayer with your mix and pull each frame (it helps to have a partner) mist both sides and replace. Leave the bees on, they will clean themselves. Thymol is deadly to mites on contact. So it kills all that are not in sealed cells. However, there is enough residue on the comb to kill them when they emerge. You can mist a second time in a week or so just to be sure but it does the trick. Oh....make sure it's a warm day when you do this, no need to stress your bees by chilling them.

Right now our humidities are nice and high so you can get away with that. Because the air is wet the bees will have plenty of time to clean themselves up.
A bit later in the year, when the air is quite dry, you will find that the syrup will dry on the bees too quickly and they won't be able to fly. You will wind up with hundreds to thousands of bees walking around outside the hive.
I found that out after hiving a package a couple of years ago. Now I don't use 1:1 spray any more.

Just my personal experience -- Fuzzy
Hi Fuzzy,
Thanks for the info, I'll have to take it into consideration when I'm tempted to do it in the summer.
just dont get the essential oil mix too strong it burns if too concentrated. I too feed my girls the EO. in the syrup always. They seem to take it better.

Alpha, if one was to spray it how about adding BT and DE to it also?

good luck!
I mixed 1 tsp HBH into one cup of 1:1 sugar water, & poured it over my bee's. This is 4x the normal dose used too feed.
Does anyone have info on the concentration of HBH? I have the individual EOs (lemongrass, spearmint, thyme & tea tree). How much of each is in a pint of HBH?

I want to make a drench, but not sure how much per cup if using the EOs rather than HBH.
Sounds like a way to totally disrupt the balance of the microbes in the hive to me... and burn the poor bees with essential oils. Try putting some on your skin and see how that goes...
I mix up a big tub of mix containing two gallons of diesel fuel, one pint of food grade mineral oil, a bottle of head lice shampoo, a few gallons of Oxalic acid, a can of concentrated lemonade, 4 oz. of lemon grass oil, 24 drops of spearmint essential oil, 17 oz. of fumigillin, one bag of terramycin and enough distilled water to top off the tub. I then add two strips each of Apistan and Checkmite and heat the solution to 160 degrees for eight hours. I let the solution cool and remove the strips. Once a month during the honey flow, I remove the honey supers and dip both brood chambers into the tub to saturate the combs and bees. I have no mite or disease problems using this treatment, but continue to lose an occasional hive to CCD.

Can I still market my honey as organic?
Before you start drenching your bees you might want to know the LD 50 of the materials ued in the drench.
Otherwords, how many mls of active ingredients/1000 mls.?
Bees do have a low tolerence to some of those EO's.

So, as a reader here what's the bottom line?

Is there an essential oil treatment that can be agreed on here?

What EO's in what amounts?
What method of application?
What does it do for the bees?
.>>>> It works great and knocks the mites down to pretty close to zero.<<<<<

What a relief to know that out mite troubles are over!

You guys do know, don't you, that Thymol is the active ingredient in Apiguard? It's a gel that has been tested to deliver a dose that works. Why not let a guy make a living and buy some. Oil and water don't mix. It can be forced to with an "emulsifier," but you are likely to get some straight oil on the bees. As Mike says...try some on your skin first. I have trouble with these witches brews and the justification that they are somehow organic. Did you know that Apistan is made from (or imitates ) chrysanthemums?

We were passing around a joke list of things we need via email. I think we really need a Sarcasm Font for this group!!:lpf:
Despite the risk of retalitory Sarcastic remarks...

Where is the recipe for the EO use as an HBH substitute?

What is a good Patty recipe utilizing the EOs?

I will pm you my EO recipes...If you don't get it in the next couple of days pm me to remind me. I would send it now but those recipes are on my home computer and not the one I am using now.
Say, Odfrank, will your recipe work as well as a spray, as a dip? Seems like spraying would be quicker. :lpf:
Hi Alpha6,
Could youalso PM me those receipes?
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