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I recently found some lemongrass in a local grocery store. I was wondering what the best way to extract oil from it is. I have just broken bits of it up and smeared it on/in some bait hives.

I also have some mint, and another mint-like plant that smells like lemon. Could I make oil out of this too? Would it be good for a swarm lure? Or could I add this to any feed I give them?


Thanks,
Scott
http://scottriley-bees-and-oysters.blogspot.com/
 

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I use lemongrass oil. Dip one end of a q-tip in it and throw it in the bottom of the trap/hive.

I also made some balm stuff out of lemongrass oil, olive oil and beeswax. Smells like old school pledge and works GREAT on the dining table. Little smear on the inside of the hive and it smells like the one with the q-tip. We'll see how effective it is.
 

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Scott, not sure how to extract the oil however if you got "stalks" of lemongrass at the store throw a stalk or 2 in a glass of water on the windowsill, it will sprout roots very quickly, then transplant to ground or bucket. It grows like wildfire into a nice bush/shrub and is wonderful to add to meat and rice recipies. I have 3 plants going now and cook with it all the time. I figured it was easier to buy the oil then extract it myself from the plant.
 

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Got my lemongrass oil from wfmed's ebay online store. 2 ounces $3.29 even with another $4 for shipping is still a heck of a lot cheaper than either Eats or Annie Kay's. PM me and I'll give you the details.
 

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First you need to build a still. Then take about 2 1/4 lbs of dried lemongrass leaves and distill it for an hour. The study I read says that you should produce about 0.9 oz. of oil.

Then later you can take corn mash and, ... oh, never mind.

Wayne
 

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wfmed is located in Vienna, VA, so I got my EOs within a couple of days. 1 oz each of spearmint, thyme & tea tree, plus the 2 oz of lemongrass even with shipping was less than $20.

Found out about them on here, in a post about homemade pollen patties. Can't remember offhand who made the original post.

I made up the homemade version of HBH, pollen patties, & use the LG oil for swarm lure.
 

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First you need to build a still. Then take about 2 1/4 lbs of dried lemongrass leaves and distill it for an hour. The study I read says that you should produce about 0.9 oz. of oil.

Then later you can take corn mash and, ... oh, never mind.

Wayne
Wayne, we're not that far from Franklin County. We know EXACTLY what to do with corn mash. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How hardy is lemongrass? I live in Virginia. How tall does it grow? If it's not hardy enough, I may just keep it inside in pots in the winter.


Scott, not sure how to extract the oil however if you got "stalks" of lemongrass at the store throw a stalk or 2 in a glass of water on the windowsill, it will sprout roots very quickly, then transplant to ground or bucket. It grows like wildfire into a nice bush/shrub and is wonderful to add to meat and rice recipies. I have 3 plants going now and cook with it all the time. I figured it was easier to buy the oil then extract it myself from the plant.
 

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I keep mine in a pot because I pretty much overwinter all my herbs. Haven't tried actually planting it outside. One problem with it is that it actually looks like grass when it's growing. Usually makes a big clump like a fescue.

I got mine from someone who didn't feel like splitting a clump she had potted up. So it grows pretty fast.
 

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Hi Scott, No need for a still (well almost!) when extracting most plant oils, just get yourself a bucket and fill it with the cuttings not too much of the woody parts! then press them down firmly, hold them down with a housebrick in a polythene bag "Not Biodegradable type" and fill with highest streangth clear Ethyl-alcohol/Vodka you can find enough to just cover the cuttings, and seal the bucket with food wrap and leave for a week, strain and filter off the alcohol, Now if you dont have a still too bad! all you can do is put the alcohol into a clean stainless pan and heat "Gently" to drive off the alcohol ( you are allowed to cry) please do this outside as you are driving off flammable vapour keep a lid handy! use as little heat as you can manage so as not to destroy the integrity of the oil that will remain in the bottom of the pan, the other option is to naturally evaporate it leaving it in a draughty area with a muslin over it for ages, note you will only get 1 ounce per 6lb of lemongrass cuttings.

A lot less painful to buy it!!!

I recently found some lemongrass in a local grocery store. I was wondering what the best way to extract oil from it is. I have just broken bits of it up and smeared it on/in some bait hives.

I also have some mint, and another mint-like plant that smells like lemon. Could I make oil out of this too? Would it be good for a swarm lure? Or could I add this to any feed I give them?


Thanks,
Scott
http://scottriley-bees-and-oysters.blogspot.com/
 

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Or, you could get/build a "bookbinding" type press (old school, 2 large plates with a screw-press setup...used to be used for making apple cider too) and mash the bejeebus out of a quantity of your citrus peels, lemongrass shoots, mint leaves & stems, etc...you'll have a mixture of juice, sap, and essential oil run out as you crush the plant matter to death that should be easy enough te separate the essential oil from (skim it off the top style). Unfortunately, though, that method would probably require using at least 2-3lbs of lemongrass shoots to really be very effective/efficient (but it sure beats boiling all that alcohol off & NOT getting to drink it! ;) )


P.S. I noticed you listed Tea Tree oil......not sure what your use for that is, but I've read in *several* places that it's pretty effective as a bee repellent. I even use it in my homemade version of "bee quick" type stuff that I spray around the area after I do a cut-out, helps disperse any returning bees the next day, and discourage future swarms from moving in.
 

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As has been said, using alcohol and a long soak is easier than distillation. You could also use 91% rubbing alcohol instead of vodka, etc. Just keep in mind that there are two different strengths of rubbing alcohol, the most common being something like 70%. The higher concentration will work better but the lower will be fine if that's all you can get. After the soak, use a coffee filter and a strainer to remove the bits and pieces, which will prevent molding over time.
 
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