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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

(question is also posted in deseases and pest forum)
 

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John, when I went down this road, I looked more for purity as I dont think all are listed as "food grade". I found some on Amazon called "NOW essential oils". Claim to be 100%pure and had good reviews from aroma therapy users. I'm sure there are others but that's what I ended up getting and worked as expected. I can say those small bottles are potent and go a long way.
 

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John, my recommendation is to skip the essential oils all together. While I don't have the links to the studies, there is evidence that using them in supplemental bee food does more harm than good. I am sure someone will post a link to the studies for you. The bees will chow down on plain old sugar water faster that sugar water with HBH added. There is a study that shows that too! At this point in time, the only thing I use essential oils for is using lemongrass oil to bait swarm traps.
 

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Just to add, I dont use it for feeding, use it when treating with Formic pro and apiguard gel, mostly the gel. iirc, I read on Randy Olivers ( not sure on that, it has been a while) that it may help with queen survival, or tolerance of the strong odor. I cant say one way or the other, but I haven't lost a queen using the oils during treatment. Could be coincidence, idk.
 

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I have heard the same thing about using HBH with formic acid treatments. I am glad to see your experience matches the claims. There are enough risks when using formic acid and anything that reduces queen loss is worth using.
 

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<There are enough risks when using formic acid and anything that reduces queen loss is worth using.> MY guess is that if this effect is well founded the HBH would have become a standard component of the mite treatments. Get on it quick and patent one before the word gets out!

Ever the skeptic;

Just seems like one of those "Sounds too good to be true?.......... it ain't!"
 

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https://docplayer.net/14544077-James-w-amrine-jr-1-and-robert-noel-2.html Trial of a formic acid evaporator and the HBH connection


Here is another link that works. Takes a bit of reading to pick up all the crumbs. My take is that possibly the effect of the 15% Honey B Healthy addition reduces the formic acid effective concentration to a more tolerable level. It would be interesting to see if a similar reduction with pure water would have the same effect.
 
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