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Author Topic: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?  (Read 4600 times)

Offline weBEE Jammin

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Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« on: October 29, 2009, 08:23:05 PM »
I am trying my best to not use chemicals on or around my ladies. I have been experimenting and using essential oils to fight against mites, beetles, wax moths, nozema, etc. Does anyone out there have any good recipes for bees using non chemical materials? I use them in sugar water, pollen sub, coasters, powder and pastes. All suggestions using non chemicals would be greatly appreciated.

Online iddee

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2009, 10:11:48 PM »
What is a chemical????  I thought sugar water was a chemical.Essential oils, also. Tell me where I am wrong.
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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2009, 10:44:19 PM »
Um I think you know what he means....now I'm off to drink my chemical...er...I mean my diet Pepsi. :-D
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Offline David LaFerney

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 12:18:46 AM »
I tried a solution of 4 parts mineral oil to one part thyme essential oil (which should have resulted in about a 3.5% thymol solution) soaked into a pad of paper towels layed on the top bars.  The bees chewed up the paper towels and carried them down through the hive and out over several weeks.  It didn't knock down the varroa, and I did an oxalic acid treatment about a week ago.  It might have worked better if I had done it while the temps were still hot, and I might try it again next year if needed. 

Thymol is supposed to be effective against varroa and tracheal mites, but I must say that it leaves a very strong and long lasting scent in the hives.  Since bees rely so much on pheromones to regulate behavior I wouldn't be surprised if essential oils like this have some negative effects.  I guess every approach has a down side.

I would rather avoid all treatments if possible, but I was to the point where that approach was probably going to result in nothing but dead bees.  When I have more hives I might be more willing to go the hard line survival of the fittest route.
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Offline BoBn

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 07:00:32 AM »
I think that you have to very careful with the dosage.  I was reading about some of Bob Noel's work with essential oils.  He had a maximum  dosage for wintergreen oil and said that the bees will ball the queen if too much was used.
http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/varroa/varroa2.htm
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Offline David LaFerney

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 10:06:44 AM »
BoBN - that's a very interesting article thanks for the link.  I wonder if there is anything similar that has been done since this one - 1996.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 10:17:33 AM by David LaFerney »
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Offline Finski

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2009, 02:58:53 PM »
 I wonder if there is anything similar that has been done since this one - 1996.

essential oils are "organic chemicals" = carbon chemistry is the pet name.

Surely, and much more better. After that date European Union varroa group was founded and it researched all sensible varroa control methods. Italian professor Nanetti developed Oxalic Acid trickling method.

Basic control methods are now thymol, formic acid and oxalic acid. There are 20 more recommended and much more what authorities does not recommend.

"Essential oils" is fíne name, but have nothing special inside.  You may split the stuff to "inorganic chemicals" and "organic chemicals". The latter has carbon atoms.

When you want best knowledge about varroa, put into google "nanetti varroa 2009".

If you want about essential oils, write  "nanetti varroa essential oils 2009".

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Offline gaucho10

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2009, 05:46:03 PM »
I'm am not sure but I think wintergreen is highly toxic to humans.   Ok, I lied.  It is. :-D
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Offline gaucho10

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2009, 05:52:06 PM »
I used to use essential oils two years ago when I wanted to go "Organic"!  I know that when reading the recipes for making essential oil mixes there was lots of warnings about wearing gloves and being careful with how much you put in.  Just my thoughts.  That was a mistake!   It did not appear to help much with "Organic" beekeeping.  I still had the same amount of mites.  Unless I inhaled some of that wintergreen and I don't remember :roll:
My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!

Offline Finski

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2009, 07:42:55 PM »
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Wintergreen oil has another name methyl salicylate.

I looked from google and during 10 years it has been done researches on parasitic cattle mites.

No mentionings with honey bee varroa.

Year 2006:
Abstract The tick Boophilus microplus is the principal species of ectoparasite that impairs dairy cattle productivity in Brazil. Its control is mainly by using synthetic chemical products during its parasitic phase. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the acaricide activity of four products of natural origin. Depending on solubility, tests were conducted with solutions in distilled water or emulsified in aqueous DMSO at 1% of the following products: thymol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and salicylic acid. Each of these was tested at three concentrations ............
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 07:56:44 PM by Finski »
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Offline Finski

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2009, 07:44:32 PM »
I'm am not sure but I think wintergreen is highly toxic to humans.   Ok, I lied.  It is. :-D

Yes, it seems to be
Canada 1940:   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC538133/pdf/canmedaj00221-0064.pdf

"The following cases of methyl salicylate
poisoning are being reported to bring again to
the fore the potentially fatal properties of the
drug."
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Offline gaucho10

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2009, 08:14:09 PM »
Wow Finski....I never really followed up on the wintergreen information previously but your post is interesting.  Too bad that the two situations discussed involved young children.  I wonder what the outcome would have been with adults?  I do have to admit that I only read about two pages of that report at which time I had to give up due to the terminology.  I never did make it into medical school and I can never understand the writing on my doctor's prescription...unless my medication includes Merlot or Cavernet. :evil:
My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!

Offline Finski

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2009, 03:03:13 AM »
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Here is good reading about varroa  http://www.coagandalucia.com/extras/sectores/api/nanetti_cordoba_integrated_varroa_treatment.pdf

The recent advances in the
integrated control of varroosis
Antonio Nanetti 2007

Nanetti wirites:
Natural active ingredients
 Compounds of essential oils
 .......Thymol
 Organic acids
 ........Oxalic
 .........Formic
 .........Lactic (obsolete

We have those organic acids in our body or in daily human food.

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Offline Finski

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2009, 03:17:02 AM »
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Organic chemicals in varroa control  2003
http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayArticleForFree.cfm?doi=b301510f&JournalCode=PO

Klaus Wallner1 from Universität Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany and Ingemar Fries2 from the Swedish
University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden discuss the control of V. destructor in honey bee
colonies by management methods and organic and traditional methods of chemical control

A range of chemicals that occur naturally in the honey bee
colony environment and that are present in honey can
be used to control V. destructor. The most commonly
used so-called organic acaricides are formic, lactic and
oxalic acids. It is believed that the acaricidial effect is based
directly on a lowered pH which is less well tolerated by the
smaller mite than the larger bee. Thymol, a substance found
in high quantities in some types of honey, is also widely
used.

Formic acid has been the most commonly used organic
acid for varroa mite control. There are numerous ways of
applying formic acid to control varroa. An advantage with
formic acid is that there is also some miticidal effect on
mites in sealed brood (Fries, 1991). Disadvantages include
variation in efficacy and risks for the user handling concentrated
acid. Formic acid fumigation is best used in the
temperature range 12–25°C. Below this temperature the
efficacy is reduced and above this temperature the bees may
become agitated and leave the hive.
Lactic acid is applied in a 15% water solution sprayed
directly on each comb side covered with bees. The treatment
is very effective if repeated three times and well tolerated by
the bees (Brødsgaard et al., 1997). However, it is very labour
intensive.
Oxalic acid has more recently proved to be highly
effective for mite control, both applied dissolved in sugar
solution dripped onto the bees  or as a fumigant applied
after heating oxalic acid crystals inside the bee hive

Oxalic acid is only effective in broodless
colonies and if applied in the late autumn problems with
increased residues in honey are minimal.

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Offline weBEE Jammin

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2009, 12:28:29 PM »
Thank you everyone for all the info so far.  It seams like everything we give our bees, that they do not get for themselves, has some type of warnings on them!  Do you think any of these are contributing to the CCD? Even the food and nectar has been contaminated by herbacides and insecticides. We cannot control the environment around us!! Thank you again for your time and knowledge.

Offline Finski

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2009, 02:36:25 PM »
 It seams like everything we give our bees, that they do not get for themselves, has some type of warnings on them!  .

There is no harmless stuff if you want to kill mites.

However, oxalic acid is the most naturall stuff. Honey has so much oxalic acid that trickling mays cause 10% rise on content, but no more.

When we give 3% oxalic acid to bees, most vegetables have 0,5% content.
Carrot has quite much.


http://growingtaste.com/oxalicacid.shtml
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=14942975
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Offline Joelel

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2009, 03:42:46 PM »
I'm going to try garlic,it's suppost to repell all kind of critters. Just add it to water and use an entrance feeder or other to water them year round or as much as possable. Get it in the bees system and the queen work it into the eggs and though the hive. It might repell everything if the bees can handle it in their body.
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Offline Finski

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2009, 04:40:33 PM »
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Here is more stuff to try

http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=je.2009.135.144

 BUT 80% reduction is not enough to save the colony.
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Offline weBEE Jammin

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2009, 10:42:29 PM »
Thank you Finski, that was a great site with all their studies; and thank you for all the info you have given me and all that read this.  I have been adding clove and garlic in moderation, with my pollen sub for the bees. I have learned you can overdose your bees on anything, you just have to learn moderation. Everyone has their own ways of doing things, they just should not be critical of others for being different. As I always say, bees will do what they want to do when they want to do it.

Offline Finski

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Re: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2009, 01:49:43 AM »
. Everyone has their own ways of doing things,

I would say that " Everyone has their own ways of killing hives" when we talk about varroa.

Lets look carlic. No one recommend carlic against varroa.  It kills 80% of mites.  At the end of brood season you have 1000 mites and 200 will be alive.  Every month they double.

If frood are from March to September you will have in autumn 13 000 mites and a dying hive..

 month 3   ....4....   5....   6....   7....   8....   9....
mites 200   400   800   1600   3200   6400   12800

500 mites in the hive is a bad limit

Oxalic acid is the most natural stuff in the beehive, at least more than carlic.

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anything