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Author Topic: lemon grass oil  (Read 10654 times)
Kirk-o
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« on: December 15, 2007, 09:33:45 PM »

I purchased some lemon grass oil concentrated stuff.Do I mix it with alcohol?
I want to put it in some swarm traps.I think spraying it would be good just need to know what to mix it with.
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2007, 10:53:49 PM »

Dont mix it with any thing just use a few drops -only time alcohol comes in is if you put your dead queens in some for queen juice which can also be used in addition to lemon grass- although i have often wondered if you could mix lemon grass with Vaseline for a long lasting application kind of time release -RDY-B
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2007, 05:52:13 AM »

i mixed it with alcohol and then water so i can spray it.
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2007, 06:11:54 AM »

@Mici how do we call lemon grass oil in slovenia because i don't have a clue?
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2007, 07:24:54 AM »

heheh, it's actually a direct translation:
lemon-limonska grass-trava
yep, lemon grass actually exists tongue

so you can actually buy/get lemon grass, or "limonasto meliso" (bee-balm), they smell much the same
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2007, 07:36:38 AM »

Ok tnx! Wink
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2007, 10:36:29 AM »

i draw some up in a syringe and keep it in the barn.  if i need to add more to my swam trap or whatever, i just drip a couple of drops in.  one thing i learned the hard way.  DO NOT get in on yourself, or anywhere else you don't want bees to congregate. 
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2007, 01:16:34 PM »


so you can actually buy/get lemon grass, or "limonasto meliso" (bee-balm), they smell much the same
I wonder if your 'limonasto meliso' is actually Melissa officinalis, or lemon balm?  Bee balm isn't much of a honeybee plant, but lemon balm is a great bee plant, I've made sure it's all around our hive area out back.  It spreads freely (take note!!) but it's easily pulled if you don't want it where it's growing. 
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2007, 01:30:24 PM »

yep reinbeau, i in fact meant lemon balm (don't know why i thought it's the same, probably has something to do with the name, hehe)

hmmm, now that i've read it on wikipedia:
"The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as a repellant for mosquitos."
i wonder if oil from "citronela" would have the same effect on bees
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citronella
probably yes....
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2007, 04:18:57 PM »

I put a few drops on the top bars.  Undiluted.
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2007, 08:51:26 AM »

"I put a few drops on the top bars"

MB
Are talking about the top bars of a swarm box or the top bars in the regular hive? Does it encourage the bees to draw more comb when used on the top bars?

Thanks
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2007, 02:23:35 PM »

kirko, the best times for lemongrass oil are for luring swarms or luring bees to a hive body in conjunction with a cut out. The lemongrass oil helps the bees orient to a swarm trap or hive body by drawing the foragers in. I have a bottle of it but I mostly keep many plastic vials filled with a synthetic swarm pheremone from Dadant, that possibly contains some lemongrass oil, sure smells like it. The vials are cheap and reusable and should be kept in the fridge when not in use. The vials are great in that they protect the product against the elements. But any small vial will do. Once the bees are oriented I don't believe continuing to place the oil on your frames will get them to draw out any more comb than they normally would. The point of the lemongrass oil is that you are trying to mimic nasanov, or re-orienting pheremone that in fact smells a lot like lemongrass oil. Oh, and I wouldn't mix it with anything, use it straight.

Sincerely, JP
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2007, 11:15:16 PM »

>Are talking about the top bars of a swarm box

Swarm box.

> or the top bars in the regular hive? Does it encourage the bees to draw more comb when used on the top bars?

No, but it will encourage a new package to stay.

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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2007, 09:53:29 AM »

I've been thinking about this alot.  This lemongrass oil.  It is said to put it on the top bars of the frames.  I know that this year I have to have swarm boxes set out, just in the case of the issuance of a swarm from my colonies.  They are still going gung ho, all 9 of them.  I know this, I will begin another thread to tell of how I know, hee, hee. 

What about putting lemongrass oil on the landing board of a swarm box. (Are swarm boxes identical to regular hive bodies, i.e., with the bottom board/landing board?).  I would imagine so, but I need to know this for sure.  Have a wonderful and great day.  Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2007, 05:27:14 PM »

A swarm box is whatever you set out to be one.  It needs a sufficient volume (minimum of that of a five frame deep) and some old comb (for smell) and some lure (lemongrass oil and/or alcohol from the jar you drown your old queens in).  An old hive works the best as it has the right smell to it already from having bees in it.

It will work better a 1/4 mile or more distance from your yard, but I've had swarms move into an empty hive in my yard before.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2007, 02:34:00 PM »

So when we are talking about lemongrass oil we are talking about the sap you get from the Cymbopogon citratus, correct?

I was thinking about growing some in my herb garden this year.  I am exploding the size of this garden since I have recently had a larger demand for catnip, basil, mint, and a variety of others.  Probably be around 200 feet by 30 feet, give or take.  WHen you are selling cilantro at the market, it takes a whole lot of cilantro.

But I digress.

It seems that all you need to do is grow the stuff and then crush or bruise the stalks (once you harvest it) and the sap sort of just oozes out.  No need to distill or anything, just bottle it up and store it.

I'll be more than happy to grow a bunch of it for the local club if folks want it.
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Richard Stewart
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2007, 03:43:48 PM »

>So when we are talking about lemongrass oil we are talking about the sap you get from the Cymbopogon citratus, correct?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_grass

Pretty much.  But we are talking about the essential oil that has been refined, processed and bottled.  You could use just the lemon grass rubbed on the inside of the box though.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2007, 11:38:49 PM »

Richard, rats!!!  I keep trying to grow cilantro here, but it bolts before we can even get some good use of the plant.  I know that I am doing something wrong here, but have no clue, any tips?.  Have a beautiful and greatest of days.  Cindi
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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2007, 09:21:35 AM »

Michael:  As always, thanks for the reply!

Cindi:

(Off topic)

If its happening because of cold temps:

Try growing it inside and see what happens.  If you plant it outside, try starting it inside and then transplanting it after you harden it up.

If its happening because of hot sun light:

Try giving it some shade.  I grow my personal stash on the back deck in pots in semi-shade.  The stuff I am selling will also be shaded (but will bolt, much like lettuce after a while).  Shade is the rule in summer time, so maybe put a tomato cage around it with some 30% to 50 % shade cloth?

I've never really had any problems with it and this past summer we've had 60 days of 90F plus and 10 days of 100F plus.

My guess is that you being much further north you are getting plants that have been or (after you plant them) are exposed to cold.  Which does not kill them, but makes them bolt later on down the line (don't ask me a time frame, I do not know).  The plant changes slightly to survive the temperature.  I hope this makes sense.  I am not a master gardener by any stretch, though I have been filling my time when not reading about bees with information of soil science and three/four season growing.

If I had to make a wager I'd say its cold air, but you would know better.  My suggestion is to buy from seed start a test group of two or three pots inside and see what happens.  Leave one inside the entire year, take one out in early-mid spring and one out in early summer (post frost) and see what happens.  If you are buying your plants, they may have been exposed to cold but appear just fine...till you get them home, they grow and then have to deal with summer.

Back on topic:

I think lemon grass shouldn't be too hard to grow.  I'll let everyone know how it goes.  I just ordered some seed to start transplants for spring.
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Richard Stewart
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2007, 10:01:45 AM »

Richard, quick note, we are off topic.  Yes, I think that you are right about the cold temperature and bolting later on and thanks for the valuable input. Makes 100% sense.  We have very cool nights in late spring, and cool nights period, where we live.  The temp fluctuations are probably severe and causes stress, I think bolting is mainly caused from stress.  I am going to grow them in an area around my house that does not experience such fluctuations this year, I have a few of these spots.

I grow everything by seed or cuttings, rarely do I purchase plants, unless I plain and simply do not grow them.  I have a heated greenhouse with lights that allows me this luxury to start indoors months before setting outside.  I start thousands of seedlings and 1/10 as many cuttings.  Yea!!!  Have a wonderful and greatest of days.  Cindi
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2008, 12:48:18 PM »

I'm late to getting back to this thread, but regarding the off topic discussion of cilantro:  Cilantro is a cool season, short lived annual.  It will bolt fast in hot weather.  You can take advantage of the short cycle of cilantro by letting the seed fall and sprout, you'll have a continual cycle of harvesting at least until the heat of summer ends the cycle. 
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« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2008, 06:29:43 PM »

I'm late to getting back to this thread, but regarding the off topic discussion of cilantro:  Cilantro is a cool season, short lived annual.  It will bolt fast in hot weather.  You can take advantage of the short cycle of cilantro by letting the seed fall and sprout, you'll have a continual cycle of harvesting at least until the heat of summer ends the cycle. 

I've never had any real problems with it during the summer.  We get into the 100s here.  I'll check to see if its a heat tolerant hybrid, but I do not think it is.

Coriander seems to do well for me regardless the weather.  I think, for me, it all depends on what type of temps its exposed to early on.  It has bolted on me before but on if it gets nailed by a frost early on.  Then I simply throw out more seeds to take up the slack.
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« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2008, 11:28:37 PM »

I'm late to getting back to this thread, but regarding the off topic discussion of cilantro:  Cilantro is a cool season, short lived annual.  It will bolt fast in hot weather.  You can take advantage of the short cycle of cilantro by letting the seed fall and sprout, you'll have a continual cycle of harvesting at least until the heat of summer ends the cycle. 
Coriander seems to do well for me regardless the weather.  I think, for me, it all depends on what type of temps its exposed to early on.  It has bolted on me before but on if it gets nailed by a frost early on.  Then I simply throw out more seeds to take up the slack.

Richard, when you are speaking of coriander, did you mean to say cilantro?  The reason why I say this is because, I am not mistaken, coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant.  Two of the same thing, one is the green growth and the other is the seed from the green growth.  Not to rain on your parade, but did you know that?  You probably did and I should say no more, sometimes I get just a little bit too nosey and should mind my own, but I just can't help myself sometimes  Wink Smiley Smiley Smiley  .  Have an awesome day.  Cindi
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« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2008, 08:13:46 AM »

Actually, I  meant to say "Coriandrum sativum" to sound all "I am cool because I know the latin genus and species, but I failed that.   grin

I make these little note cards for everything I grow and then write the scientific name for everything on the other side and use them for flash cards when I get bored.

I have so far remembered three out of a hundred plus names: Coriandrum sativum, Hemerocallis fulva, and Solanum lycopersicum.  Cilantro, daylillies, and tomatoes.

So I am questioning the value of the experiment or even where I would use it.
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« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2008, 08:29:48 AM »

Back to the lemongrass oil.

Has anyone tried to extract the oils?

Has anyone used the distiller available at Brushy Mountain?

This one:


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Richard Stewart
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« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2008, 08:48:46 AM »

Richard, you are an interesting fellow, and you say interesting stuff.  I like that.  About that distiller.  That would surely be a great idea for distilling one's own herbs, and so on.  I actually wouldn't mind to entertain that thought this year coming up.

The most sought after scent that I could think that I would want to distill scents from would be:

Night scented stock (matthiola bicornis)
Mignonette
Nicotianna
Stocks (regular)
Heliotrope

Those are scents that are the most beautiful in my world, and if I could have even a tiny vial of this fragrance to take a whiff of (just like my propolis jar that sits on my kitchen counter) when I want a heavenly summer scent, I would be a happy woman.

I wonder how many little flowers it would take to make a drop of an essential oil of these flowers.  One day I will know this answer.  In the meantime, I am looking at the distiller that you showed a picture of.  Have an awesome day.  Cindi

Looked at the distiller, unless one was to go into commercial production of essential oils, the price was a little bit too much out of my range for this distiller, too bad, it looked pretty simple.
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« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2008, 07:59:09 PM »

where is the best place to buy lemmon grass oil
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« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2008, 08:43:06 PM »

I ordered some from Puritan Pride.

We are talking about oz or half an oz..

I did find a place where you can order it in liters (lemon grass and other essential oils) if anyone is interested.

Edit:  Right now they have 1/2 oz for 4.33  not too sure how that compares with other prices.
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« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2008, 08:03:41 AM »

the best to distill would be fermented corn
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« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2008, 08:46:42 AM »

I posted this on another thread, but a Greek beekeeper wrote a comment on my blog about mixing the lemongrass oil into a mixture of beeswax and olive oil to make it stay longer. 

The swarm hive that I set up hasn't captured a swarm yet, so we don't know if it actually works, but I have noticed that the lemongrass smell has stayed longer in the paste I made than just dropped right on the frames and landing.

Linda T hopeful in Atlanta

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« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2008, 09:51:42 PM »

Is this the same oil used to treat V-Mites?
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2008, 09:59:36 PM »

Is this the same oil used to treat V-Mites?

Lemongrass oil is used in swarm traps to entice bees to orient to the trap. Its scent is reminiscent of nasonov, or orientating pheremone.


...JP
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« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2008, 10:00:57 PM »

HAB,
  food grade mineral oil for mites
lemongrass oil for swarm lure.
Jim  
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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2008, 10:21:38 PM »

Some people use it with lecithin in syrup for Varroa.  It's available as Honey Bee Healthy with the addition of peppermint oil.
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« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2008, 10:49:10 PM »

Thought I'd heard of adding a few drops into sugar syrup?
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« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2008, 10:51:35 PM »

If you want to grow your own lemon grass, do so in pots around your patio. It has a great effect on keeping the mosquitos away.

Dennis
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2008, 12:21:36 AM »

    And as was said earlier DON'T get it on you.  I accidentally did this a couple years ago and the bees were all clumped up on the front of my shirt.  Quite disturbing when you don't realize the power of scent or realize it is on you.  After a couple thousand heartbeats in a couple seconds I finally realized what happened and eased them off and smoked the spot like crazy.  This made it a little less attractive but not a whole bunch. 
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« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2008, 08:41:15 PM »

It won't mix with syrup.  It will mix with honey or it will mix with lecithin.  Then THAT will mix with syrup.
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« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2008, 10:32:47 PM »

>where is the best place to buy lemmon grass oil

Health Food Store or store that sell herbs--- I just bought a bottle here locally from a health store and paid 6.95 for a 1oz bottle.
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« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2008, 08:08:23 AM »

sc-bee, Were in SC are you? I've checked all the health food/herb stores and can't find it. They all say the same thing... use to carry it but not any more. Please let me know were you got it.
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Wes Sapp
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« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2008, 09:55:23 AM »

Whole Foods has it and you can buy it online from lots of places.

Linda T in Atlanta
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Wes Sapp
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« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2008, 03:42:29 PM »

Thanks Linda T. I was trying to find it somewhere close by to save on shipping... looked on the web just to see how much shipping would be and Puritan Pride has a earth day special shipping price of .22 today only so I order a couple of bottles. Thanks again for your post if you hadn't I would have missed the special!!!
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Wes Sapp
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« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2008, 07:46:02 PM »

i have gotten some really good deals on ebay.  there are a couple of ebay stores that give discounts for multiple items, and discounted shipping.  the last batch of stuff i purchased was less expensive even with shipping than i could find in town.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2008, 11:25:39 AM »

Has anyone tried just cutting lemon-grass and putting that in? Or planting it next to a trap?
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« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2008, 06:19:28 PM »

Unfortunately, I do not think this will work.  Bees, to the best of my knowledge (and there's not much there, so take this with a grain of salt) are not actually attracted to the plant itself, but the sap from the plant's root.  Again, I could be wrong.

Its not even the sap I think but the distilled oil from the sap.

Lemongrass itself, makes a great part of a salad or side dish or in a soup.  I'll actually be offering it at farmer's market's this year if I can get it to grow in large enough quantities.

Supposedly citronella comes from Lemongrass.  Not to sure how that works out since its a repellant not an attractant.

Who knows.
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Richard Stewart
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