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Author Topic: lemon grass oil  (Read 10753 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.
kirko
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rdy-b
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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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Mici
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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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Misko
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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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Sory for my bad english.
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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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Misko
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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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Mici
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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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Michael Bush
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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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DennisB
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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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JP
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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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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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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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Cindi
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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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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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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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Cindi
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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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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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