I try to keep the bees as organic as possible and based on information received within our bee group, the use of thyme to help control mites is well received.
There is a big difference in efficacy of thyme leave and thyme oil as mentioned in the link you provided. In the early 90s essential oils was a big fad and THE answer for natural control. Does it work? Perhaps, but not consistently enough to be the answer for everyone. Maybe there are specific conditions that are protocol dependent that most beeks can't consistently repeat, I don't know. But it is also well known, if beeks where truthful, that a lot of bees have been lost to essential oils treatment. At the time it was almost sacrilegious to question the effectiveness of essential oils. There is also the placebo or desire for it to work that muddies ones perceived results. So many beeks find other excuses like weather to blame their losses on.
When using bee tea, I only use herbal tea of plants that grow naturally in my location so I'm not introducing anything they will not find on their own.
That is an admiral approach and sounds reasonable. Apples and cherries grow naturally and abundantly here as well. Their seeds and pits contain cyanide and I wouldn't consider making tea out of them to feed with.
All depends on who you want to believe and your own experience. I think each person just needs to use what they feel works best for them and their hives.
I couldn't agree more and I'm not trying to give you a hard time. The key is own experience
. Unfortunately we have a lot of new beekeepers here (read as no experience) who are dying to find that "organic" (read as harmless, which is another misnomer :roll:) treatment and are ready to jump on anything they can find. So when someone just throws out a statement like "helps to prevent mites" I feel obligated to have this discussion.
If it works for you than I am happy for you and hope you continue to have success. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have THE answer, but I can tell you that my experience has been I have more folks who practice "natural/organic" treatments looking to buy replacement bees due to weather/winter losses than those that don't. Go figure :idunno: