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Author Topic: Mint, Menthol and the Whole Enchilada  (Read 2100 times)
DayValleyDahlias
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« on: June 13, 2007, 10:33:50 PM »

I have been reading...reading lot's...sprigs on mint ( what type ) place in the hive, can help rid tracheal mites?  Seems easy and harmless ( to the bees anyhoo )...

Should one treat prophylactically?
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tillie
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 12:40:57 AM »

I don't look at it as treatment, but I had read about the effectiveness of mint, so I have mint plants all around my hives.  My small swarm nuc has a mint plant in a pot growing on top of the nuc.  I have mint growing on the deck beside one of my hives and between the other two.

Linda T in Atlanta
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2007, 01:31:09 AM »

I really like the idea of mint being a beneficial to bees...I have lavender and monarda as well as salvia...I will add mint this weekend...

Is ther any specific variety that is preferred...peppermint?  spearmint?  etc...
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abejaruco
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2007, 04:14:05 AM »

With this aromatic plant page and the related links we have the enchilada  Wink

The rosmarino officinalis is other variety of mint that probably can help used in the smoker.

Special mention has the oregano...The etymology of this name is mount. Probably that´s the reason Spanish popular sentence says that "no todo el monte es orégano" Everything is not oregano in the mountain. Could be oregano the etymology of Oregon? Well, I enjoy the etymology.

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Rosm_off.html
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2007, 06:44:20 AM »

>I have been reading...reading lot's...sprigs on mint ( what type ) place in the hive, can help rid tracheal mites? 

Menthol, of course, is an extract from mint.  But Menthol is strong enough to do some good.  Mint leaves won't make any significant difference in tracheal mites.  The bees don't seem to mind the smell, so it won't hurt, but I would not expect any benefits.  I don't treat for tracheal mites at all.  If everyone would stop treating today, by next year we would no longer have a problem.  The bees who genetically can't handle the mites would be gone and we'd all have resistant stock.  Instead everyone keeps propping up inferior stock with chemicals so that the inferior genetics continue despite the fact they are not self sustaining.
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Michael Bush
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2007, 07:18:21 AM »

But growing it is a great excuse to have lots of iced tea for the summer   Wink Wink Wink  or mint juleps, if that is your desire!

Linda T with lots of mint in Atlanta
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2007, 07:54:40 AM »

I agree with Michael,  sprigs of mint will not be strong enough to have an effect.   I remember when some where touting leaving Hall's cough drops on top of frames too,  but this was also mostly ineffective as the dose was too small.  If you think it works, chances are you don't have a problem to begin with.  The one and only time I treated with menthol,  the bees refused to go into the hive for days.  Since then,  I have weeded out non-tracheal resistant bees.
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2007, 11:36:58 PM »

Sharon and Linda.  Love the  mints.  Plant them for your own benefit around your bees!!!  If the bees benefit, yeah!!!!  I love the smell of brushing up against the leaves of these aromatics, especially the Lemon Balm and Annise, could sit by these subshrubs for hours and hours, enjoying the scents, and then come the teas!!!!  Have a wonderful day, enjoy the mint families.  Cindi
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2007, 12:59:46 PM »

Robo and I both said it, but perhaps I can be more succinct.

The only danger I see in putting mint in the hive is if you rely on it to do anything.
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Michael Bush
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tillie
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2007, 01:18:13 PM »

I'm relying on it to create a nice smell and be easy to maintain!  I have no illusions that it will actually make any difference to my bees  Wink Wink 

Linda T looking forward to a summer of mint juleps  evil
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BEE C
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2007, 05:11:58 PM »

I used honey bee health formula in my early feed this year, not for mites, but simply for the health benefits...I also simply mixed thyme, spearmint and lemongrass oil onto the bottom board, and let the bees evaporate it around the hive.  They made a roaring sound, it was a hot day, and they didn't leave the hive, but you could hear them evaporating the smell out with there wings.  Essential oils are concentrated and would probably work better to get the benefits of the plant. 
I agree to rely on them for any "solution" is folly, but if they help the bees immune system why not?  Plants developed these oils over millions of years to kill bugs that would eat them, while honey bees work symbiotically with the plants so would they not develop an affinity for these oils?  Obviously too much of anything is not good, but giving bees access to a herb garden or using oils in some capacity seems to use what nature intended.
An analogy I like is with humans, we can live without veggies, but are much healthier with them in our diet.  With hauling bees to pollinate monocrops we limit their diet, how would we like to eat cornflakes for ten years straight?  How healthy could we expect to be?  Good on you for experimenting with dietary supplementation for your bees.
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kathyp
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2007, 11:22:06 PM »

Quote
Could be oregano the etymology of Oregon?

maybe...if they are smoking it....which would explain a whole lot about this state!   evil
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2007, 06:49:03 AM »

>Plants developed these oils over millions of years to kill bugs that would eat them, while honey bees work symbiotically with the plants so would they not develop an affinity for these oils?

Bees don't collect essential oils.  They do not appear to need them for anything.  They do not naturally collect them.  Their world inside the hive is controlled and driven by smell.  I'm not sure adding strong odors for no particular reason than I speculate they might help, is a good idea.
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Michael Bush
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BEE C
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2007, 03:30:56 AM »

the essential oils of a lot of plants comes from or is strongest in the nectar, and pollen.  Fragrant leaves are also high in essential oil, so I would have to disagree.  Bees may not collect essential oils in the potentcy we put them into a hive, but nectar most definitely would have strong concentrations of those oils.  Some oils are sticky to discourage foraging insects, but others coat the plants sexual parts enticing bees with the scent.  Propolis gets its strong scent and no doubt some of its sterilizing effect from essential oils from the trees leaves and sap it is collected does it not? 

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