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Author Topic: Overdoing lemongrass oil?  (Read 2616 times)

Offline Kellyb

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Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« on: April 03, 2009, 02:57:22 PM »

In an effort to assess the ferral bee population in my area I made a bowl of sugar syrup mixed with a bit of honey and a couple of drops of lemongrass oil and set it out on my front porch.  Today has been the first day warm and sunny enough for bees in a good while.  Well, about 10:30 am a couple of bees show up and i'm thinking, "cool here they come".  But then they disappear and I haven't seen any more bees at my feeder the rest of the afternoon.  On the other side of the house there's a pink flowered Wisteria tree that I noticed is absolutely BUZZING with honeybees. There must be 1,000 bees in that tree.  I'm just wondering why these bees aren't bees coming to my feeder? I notice that lemongrass oil is STRONG and I wonder if I put too much in there and it's repelling the bees or something.

Offline Two Bees

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2009, 03:18:28 PM »
Bees prefer natural nectar and pollen to any substitute would be my guess.
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Offline Kellyb

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2009, 03:39:02 PM »
Yeah that makes sense.  I'm also curious what the bees do with the food. Do they simply eat it on the spot or take it back to the hive?  I've also heard mention of some people feeding raw honey. Do they prefer to find honey or would they rather make their own?

Sorry if these questions are stupid but I'm fairly new to this.   :)

Offline Bee-Bop

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009, 04:11:20 PM »
Wait till July/Aug then watch the bees take over your humming bird feeders,
till then they will use natural feed !

Those bees may bee from a local hive, as bees forge in a 2 or 3 mile circle a
BIG area.

Bee-Bop
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Offline HAB

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2009, 04:13:01 PM »

In an effort to assess the ferral bee population in my area I made a bowl of sugar syrup mixed with a bit of honey and a couple of drops of lemongrass oil and set it out on my front porch.  Today has been the first day warm and sunny enough for bees in a good while.  Well, about 10:30 am a couple of bees show up and i'm thinking, "cool here they come".  But then they disappear and I haven't seen any more bees at my feeder the rest of the afternoon.  On the other side of the house there's a pink flowered Wisteria tree that I noticed is absolutely BUZZING with honeybees. There must be 1,000 bees in that tree.  I'm just wondering why these bees aren't bees coming to my feeder? I notice that lemongrass oil is STRONG and I wonder if I put too much in there and it's repelling the bees or something.

WOW!  I've got a huge wisteria, in full bloom, just 75ft from 15 hives and never see a honey bee on it.  Sometimes its covered in Bumble Bees though.  Wonder what the difference is.

Offline Kellyb

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2009, 04:45:23 PM »
I'm not 100% sure it's a Wisteria tree. It's a decent sized tree with pink flowers though. Not sure exactly what it's called. There are quite a few of them around here in the Ozarks and they're really starting to bloom.

I noticed on that tree there are 4 different looking honeybees so I doubt they all come from local apiaries. Some are smaller and darker colored. Some are really bright yellow. And some are really bright yellow with a darker back half.  I'm hopeful that I can capture me a swarm sometime this year.

Offline Bee-Bop

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2009, 07:43:52 PM »
You sure your not looking at Red Bud Trees, 100 miles North East of you the woods are covered with them.

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Offline Two Bees

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2009, 08:15:07 PM »
Sounds like redbuds.  I thought wisteria blossoms were lavender.  Perhaps just some wisteria!
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Offline Two Bees

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2009, 08:16:25 PM »
They will take it back to the hive and let the house bees store and cure it into honey.  They may eat a little for a snack!
"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2009, 08:57:11 PM »
Wisteria is a vine but can be trained to a tree. It is very invasive --- if you got it it won't be just a little. I think you can buy one propagated with white blooms but wild wisteria here is purple and is in bloom now.
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Offline JP

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2009, 09:17:30 PM »

In an effort to assess the ferral bee population in my area I made a bowl of sugar syrup mixed with a bit of honey and a couple of drops of lemongrass oil and set it out on my front porch.  Today has been the first day warm and sunny enough for bees in a good while.  Well, about 10:30 am a couple of bees show up and i'm thinking, "cool here they come".  But then they disappear and I haven't seen any more bees at my feeder the rest of the afternoon.  On the other side of the house there's a pink flowered Wisteria tree that I noticed is absolutely BUZZING with honeybees. There must be 1,000 bees in that tree.  I'm just wondering why these bees aren't bees coming to my feeder? I notice that lemongrass oil is STRONG and I wonder if I put too much in there and it's repelling the bees or something.

Wisteria smells wonderful but honeybees don't seem to work it from all the feedback I've seen. Bumbles love it.

When a nectar flow is on bees will not be interested in sugar water.

Too much lemongrass has the reverse effect of what you are trying to achieve. A very, very, small amount is what you use as an attractant.


...JP
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Offline troutstalker2

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2009, 11:17:08 PM »
 

  I don't believe bees can reach down far enough in the wisteria flower to get nectar.  At least that is what my mentor has told me and he is a man of much experience in the world of bees.

 David

Offline bailey

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2009, 11:31:17 PM »
you want to check on the local population?
put out honey, your response will be impressive!

do this when the main nectar flow is not on and you will see what i am talking about.

i made the mistake of going to work with an abandoned hive in the back of my truck with about 1/10 th of one side of a med frame of caped honey in the box, went outside at noon and saw nothing, went out at 3pm to find a cloud around my truck and about a 3 to 4 pound group of bees busy robbing the honey out!

honey works when no flow is on!
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Offline Pond Creek Farm

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2009, 11:47:13 PM »
The pink flowers on trees in our area are redbuds.  Next will be the white flowers of dogwoods.
Brian

Offline JP

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2009, 11:53:11 PM »
I planted several red buds as saplings or rather seedlings on our property about 2 yrs ago. They are growing rather slowly.

I've heard it takes quite a while for them to bud flowers.

Anyone know how long?


...JP
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Offline the kid

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2009, 12:14:12 AM »
 my bees tend to do what and go were they want to ,,   2 years ago I had 2 fruit trees blooming with in 150 feet of my hives ,,  3 more trees blooming within 200 feet ,,, not one girl was on any ...    last year they  were covering the trees ,, you could hear them buzzing all around the trees ,    
as for putting out honey ,,,,,      I've allways been told ,, not to put any honey out  that I dont know were it came from ,, (  because of diseases spread ) just what Ive been told ..  
tom

Offline Kellyb

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2009, 12:45:45 AM »
Well I looked at some pics and that tree is a Redbud tree.  There's only that and a few other trees around here blooming.  I did mix some honey in with the sugar water and after an hour or so it drew some bees. Unfortunately, several of them got that sticky honey mixture all over them and couldn't fly. I don't know if they can clean honey off them or not.

Offline RayMarler

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2009, 01:28:02 AM »
witha nectar flow on, bees won't go for open feeding of sugar water (this is robbing mode which won't happen when a nectar flow is on). The 2 drops of lemongrass oil was not the reason for no bees, but may have been the attractant that brought in the 2 bees. Perhaps they were scout bees from a hive ready to swarm that was looking for a new home. Since there was not a cavity to make a home and a nectar flow is on, no more returned. Field bees eat a bit of honey before they leave the hive to sustain them during their trip to gather nectar. They don't eat what they are gathering to bring back to the hive.
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Offline JP

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2009, 05:17:16 AM »
There was a discussion on here about how far bees will travel to forage and someone mentioned some colonies in a desert that were collecting from something like 6 miles away.

I believe there was information that documented this. It was said to survive the trip back, foragers had to consume some of their stores or perish.


...JP
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Offline RayMarler

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Re: Overdoing lemongrass oil?
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2009, 01:39:53 AM »
Yes JP, I'm most likely wrong in my previous statement.  :roll:  The bees do take in honey before leaving on a trip to sustain them long enough to gather the nectar and return. If their destination for forage is far enough away that they must ingest some of the nectar gathered, then the source is far enough away to be not profitable for increasing energy stores of the colony.
Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.