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I would disagree that EO's are chemicals. EO's ...are in in fact bought in by the bees when they work lemongrass, spearmint or thyme plants.
errr, the levels the bees are exposed to via foraging are orders and orders of magnitude below what a beekeeper would put in the hive. being a "chemical" is irrelevant...everything is a chemical. every cell in your body produces hydrogen peroxide every second of every day (a byproduct of cellular respiration)...yet, drinking the stuff is not good for you.

on another note, we heard maryann and jim frazier give a talk at the backyard beekeepers (CT) last week. apparently, they have found that thymol increases the permiability of the bees cuticle ("skin") to other pesticides. they still promote some of the "soft treatments" (which i don't agree with), but they have taken thymol off the table as a reasonable treatment.

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