Mountain Sweet Honey

How do essential oils help our honey bees?

Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids. They have different aromatic compounds and are extracted from plants. Using essential oils in beekeeping helps beekeepers avoid applying chemicals and contaminants in their beehives. Using essential oils with honeybees is safe. The oils easily evaporate at normal temperatures, leaving no traces behind in beehive products. You should also have the proper hive equipment for use with essential oils for honeybee colonies. The hive equipment must be kept clean at all times.

There are a wide range of uses for essential oils in beekeeping. Indeed, different essential oils have their unique uses in honeybee colony maintenance. The major essential oils used in beekeeping are for attracting bees to a new beehive, controlling Varroa mites and to discourage mold formation. Beekeepers also use essential oils to repel bees from them when carrying out beehive inspections and maintenance activities. When you want to calm bees after major honeybee colony structure changes, lemongrass essential oil helps you get the job done fast and easily.


Lemongrass Essential Oil

Getting a new colony to occupy a freshly installed beehive can be sped up by using essential oils. Lemongrass essential oil gives the best results with this. The oil mimics the pheromone given off by the queen bee in a honeybee colony. A few drops of lemongrass in a trap box or beehive are all you need. Swarm catchers make a lot of use of this essential oil in their activities. Lemongrass essential oil initially attracts worker bees that then bring along the entire honeybee colony to the beehive.

When bees are on the move, they send out scout bees. You can use lemongrass in a swarm lure or swarm trap to attract the scout bees. A proper lemongrass oil bee lure is made by making use of a swarm trap, nuc box or deep beehive box. It must be covered well and have an entrance at the bottom. Smear 3 drops of lemongrass oil on the sides of the box for best results. If you place some honeycomb in the lure, you may add a single drop of lemongrass oil on the comb.

The lemongrass oil bee lure is suitable for bees. A poorly constructed box will only attract many scout bees but they will not bring the swarm to it. Do not use too much lemongrass oil in your lure. If you do, bees will not enter the lure. When bees do not enter the lemongrass oil bee lure immediately and the oil gets depleted, you may top up the hive with a drop of more lemongrass oil.

To keep the lemongrass lure well scented for a longer time, put a few lemongrass oil drops on some absorbent paper. It slowly releases the oil into the hive for extended periods of time. Using lemongrass oil in your lure is very effective and cheaper than other methods of attracting swarming bees.

Lemongrass oil is a handy oil used by beekeepers. It has antiviral and anti-fungal properties. The oil also has acids that have an effect on honeybee mites. Lemongrass should be used with caution on weak colonies. It may attract robber bees that may cause a lot of damage to the already weak honeybee colony.  Always remember, if you feed one hive, you must feed all hives in an apiary.  If not, the Lemongrass oil you are using to feed one hive will be an attractant for other hives to come and rob the hive using the Lemongrass oil.

The qualities of an effective lemongrass honeybee lure to consider are its weight and size. The lure should not be too heavy by itself. Weight is a critical factor since you will be moving the lure around while it is full of bees. As a way around any weight problems you may have, do not set your lure too high off the ground. Ten feet off the ground is enough for catching migrating honeybee swarms.

Always use pure Lemongrass Oil.


Tea Tree Oil

Unlike other insects, honey bees are always prone to the danger of disease and pests.  Using chemical pesticides for warding off pests in the bee hives cannot be an eco-friendly option.  Tea Tree Oil is derived from Melaleuca Alternifolia and is known to have anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Tea Tree Oil is mostly used in feeding this essential oil within the sugar syrup.  Tea Tree Oil will definitely assist you in treating diseases like Nozema.

Nosema disease is a destructive disease in adult honeybees, affecting drones, queens, and workers.  There have been severe cases, the worker bees are unable to fly, resulting in trembling and crawling.  The end result is the honeybees are less active and age prematurely, which results in the reduction of the colony population.

The best way to feed Tea Tree Oil is by adding (1) one teaspoon of oil to a half cup of water.  Mix the oil and water in a blender for 4 minutes at the lowest speed.  This will result in emulsification of the oil.  Then, pour the mixture into a half gallon jar of water and shake well.  Next, add sugar to the solution to make a proper 1:1 ratio or 2:1 ratio.

Always use pure Tea Tree Oil.