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Author Topic: Essential Oils instead of chemicals?  (Read 4022 times)
weBEE Jammin
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« on: October 29, 2009, 07:23:05 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.
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2009, 09:11:48 PM »

What is a chemical?Huh  I thought sugar water was a chemical.Essential oils, also. Tell me where I am wrong.
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2009, 09:44:19 PM »

Um I think you know what he means....now I'm off to drink my chemical...er...I mean my diet Pepsi. grin
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 11:18:46 PM »

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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BoBn
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 06:00:32 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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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 09:06:44 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, 09:17:33 AM by David LaFerney » Logged

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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2009, 01:58:53 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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gaucho10
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2009, 04:46:03 PM »

I'm am not sure but I think wintergreen is highly toxic to humans.   Ok, I lied.  It is. grin
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2009, 04:52:06 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 rolleyes
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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 !!!
Finski
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2009, 06:42:55 PM »

.
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, 06:56:44 PM by Finski » Logged

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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2009, 06:44:32 PM »

I'm am not sure but I think wintergreen is highly toxic to humans.   Ok, I lied.  It is. grin


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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gaucho10
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2009, 07:14:09 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
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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 !!!
Finski
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2009, 02:03:13 AM »

.
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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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2009, 02:17:02 AM »

.
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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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2009, 11:28:29 AM »

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.
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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2009, 01:36:25 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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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2009, 02:42:46 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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38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2009, 03:40:33 PM »

.
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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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2009, 09:42:29 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.
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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2009, 12:49:43 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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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2009, 09:09:21 PM »

Should we just let the bees take care of themselves? Would they be better off ferile?  I have two trees that have colonies living in them over six years, and I have not done anything to them. I do get swarms off them that I put into hive bodies and frames. I believe things build up resistances to anything we continuously give them. I will not give up and will try to keep my ladies healthy. Thank you again Finski for all your valuable info.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2009, 08:51:48 PM »

I also use essential oils as an attractant for swarms.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2009, 09:24:31 PM »

I have been adding wintergreen, peppermint oe lemongrass oils in with my pollen substitute patties.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2009, 06:34:07 PM »

I take it no one has any recipes with essential oils they want to share?
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« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2009, 10:51:13 PM »

Virginia Tech did a study concerning thymol in hives and found reduced sperm in drones and reduced sperm viability in the spermatheca. A former Virginia state inspector stated he still uses thymol, but he requeens a couple of weeks after treatment.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2009, 01:10:59 PM »

That is sad, especially since they get kicked out of the hives in the winter to die. I wouldn't want to live that way!
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« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2009, 06:31:30 PM »

Here is the recipe that I have used...I am questioning, though, the amount of oils.  I believe it's too low.  Once mixed into the syrup for feeding, it does not smell near as strong as syrup that contains actual Honey B Healthy.  Last batch I made was a gallon and a half. I ended up adding 2 drops of each oil to the gallon and 1 drop of each in the 1/2 gallon.  Then it smelled like my previous feedings with actual HBH.

Essential Oil Syrup Recipe

- 5 cups water
- 2 1/2 pounds of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon lecithin granules (used as an emulsifier)
- 15 drops spearmint oil
- 15 drops lemongrass oil

Bring the water to a boil and mix in the sugar until dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add the lecithin and the essential oils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. This solution should have a strong scent and not be left open around bees. Cool before using. Refrigerate unused portion. Will keep for well over a year, if cold.

Use one teaspoon per quart of syrup.

Tips:
• Lecithin granules may not go into solution very easily. Take a little syrup, like half a cup, add the lecithin, and then mix in a blender or use a stick blender to emulsify the granules. Then, add back to the mixture.
• If you have really hot tap water, then you will not have to boil the water to dissolve the sugar.
• Stores well in used 1 quart bottled water containers in the refrigerator.
• The concentrate may not be as thick as the original HBH formulation, if you have purchased the original before. But, it works just fine - goes into solution and smells of essential oils.
• One teaspoon per quart of syrup is just a reference point. When first starting out, you might use a little less, until you are comfortable the bees are taking it. Personally, I just open the bottle of concentrate and pour a large 'glug' into a gallon of syrup, purely eyeballing it. The bees take it just fine. There is little about beekeeping that is an exact science.
• The essential oil additive will greatly reduce the formation of mold in your top feeder - i.e. the syrup will last longer, if they are slow to take it.
• Be careful, if you have a weak hive and no flow. If the scent it too strong, it can actually induce robbing of the hive
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Natalie
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« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2009, 07:20:45 PM »

I went to a conference this summer, along with some other members of this forum and we were told that using essential oils, among other things can throw off the pheremones in the hive there for reducing communication among the colony.
It was also stated that since sugar kills two of the microbes in the bees stomach that it would be wise to avoid essential oils as well, they recommend putting nothing in the hive.
If the feral bees don't need it I don't see why your bees would.
If they have been living in trees for 6 years as you said without any intervention then why would you treat them when they swarm into one of your hives?
It seems like an excessive amount of things to put into a pollen patty, 3 kinds of essential oil and now clove and garlic.
I would worry that are throwing off their systems, those essential oils are not a natural source of food for them so its not something they are normally exposed to and may actually be bad for them.
You mention that if you keep putting something in the hive you can make them resistant to it, what does that mean? Aren't you making them resistant to the essential oils? How does that help keep them healthy?
I really have to wonder when we start giving our bees vitamins, these after all are insects and nature, animals and insects has always evolved to co exist, unless man has gotten involved and disrupted that course.

I am not knocking anyone but I have been following this thread and if you have not gotten alot of responses its probably because its not a popular concept here, at least yet.

I would just advise to let the bees be bees and let them do as they please, try to enjoy them for what they are.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2009, 10:35:31 PM »

At this conference, what type of foundation did they recommend? Man made wax? Are they in man made boxes and frames? Do you smoke your bees or use any kind of insect control? You say you do not feed your bees any sucrose, fructose, glucose or any type of sugar products? Do you use insecticides, herbicides or any chemicals outside around your house or property (two mile radius around your bees)?
I do not put all three oils in my patties. I alternate them, and only use the oils in moderation (drops per gal). I have only tried clove and garlic sprinkles a few times! You sound like I'm trying to overdose or over medicate my ladies. The amounts I mix in are minimal and alternating.
The feral swarm I caught off my bee tree was starting to have split wings, and a light mite problem. I was using small amounts (drops in gallons) of essential oils that helped the bees.
Do you really not understand how some living things build up resistance to things? Think of it like the flue bug.
There are many different ways to raise or take care of bees. I do not push my ways on anyone. Different strokes for different folks. I believe I take very good care of my bees and they show it. It bothers me if I see one dead bee, or accidentally smash one when I'm lifting frames. I am not saying I am a bee whisperer, I am just good to my little ladies and they are good to me..
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« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2009, 01:59:19 AM »

I don't live near Natalie but I have been to the conference.

"At this conference, what type of foundation did they recommend?"
Recommendation is NOT to use any foundation.

"Man made wax?"
Man does not make wax...bees do...let them build their own wax and comb w/o foundation.

"Are they in man made boxes and frames?"
By law they have to be so that they can be inspected for disease.

"Do you smoke your bees or use any kind of insect control?"
I smoke my bees.  Some people don't.  What do you mean by "insect control"?

"You say you do not feed your bees any sucrose, fructose, glucose or any type of sugar products?"
Honey.  Feed your bees honey.

"Do you use insecticides, herbicides or any chemicals outside around your house or property (two mile radius around your bees)?"
I live in a rural community.  Most farms here grow hay and use no chemicals.  I do not even use lawn chemicals.  My back yard's lawn is basically wild flowers.

"You sound like I'm trying to overdose or over medicate my ladies."
You might be???

You asked a question and Natalie is just putting in her thoughts.  I call it "constructive criticism".
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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 !!!
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« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2009, 02:10:10 AM »

weeBee Jammin,

Some people on this forum, me included, believe that bee cell size is important for bee health.  Search and read up on cell regression.  They also believe that feeding sugar or any OTHER chemical is actually disrupting the bee's immune system.  This could be one of the causes for CCD.  If the colony does not survive w/o the use of medicines and chemicals then perhaps it is a weak strain of bees and it will not (should not) survive.  That's why some of us are striving to acquire "feral" bees.
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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 !!!
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« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2009, 02:06:45 PM »

Thank You Gaucho, my thoughts exactly.
He answered how I also would have.
I do not use chemicals in my yard as I grow all organic vegetables, what goes on two miles from me is out of my control.
I do what IS in my control to keep chemicals out of the hive and my bees do build all their own comb.
I don't know where you got the idea that I don't understand the concept of resistance, I just don't understand what YOU are doing in that regard and that is why I asked.
What exactly are you trying to get them resistant to?

Insect control? Not sure what you mean but unless you are talking about me swatting an occasional fly then everyone is on their own. I don't interfere with nature as far as that goes.

No I don't feed my bees any of that stuff either, we had alot of rain this year so I left them almost all of their honey, I can always harvest any extra that is left in the spring.
Following years from now I again will leave them more than enough honey to winter over on and take only what they can afford to give.
My intention is to never take more honey than I should so that I won't have to feed them sugar water.

Smoke? If needed, sometimes yes if its the only way I can work them that particular day.
I save all the flowers that I trim in the gardens, dry them and use them in the smoker.

My bees make their own combs, no foundation and they can build whatever size cells they need.
I use nothing at all in my hives and I leave them all their honey.
They are happy and healthy, all doing splendidly.
I think that answers all of your questions.

If you were going to let your bees build up a resistance to the natural things around them then why would you be putting essential oils in the hive? That is not allowing them to build a natural resistance to anything. That was the question.
I don't know why you would be offended, I am simply pointing out some of the contradictory and confusing information in your post and sharing what I learned about oils and interference in a hive, since you asked for advice...
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2009, 04:35:54 PM »

Natalie & gauch10 have pretty much said what I would have said because I was also in attendance at the same conference they speak of. I rather not introduce anything to my hives except Honeybees  grin
If I lose some, so be it, but I will also have survivor stock to work with and that is the key. Honeybees have been around longer than man by a long shot ( think about that )  Smiley
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rdy-b
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« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2009, 05:02:05 PM »

MORE DATA to digiest - cool  RDY-B   http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?seq_no_115=230111
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2009, 06:41:03 PM »

Thanx for that sight; Finski sent the same research in an earlier post.  They do not test with the essential oils that I use; wintergreen, lemongrass, spearmint and peppermint. If you find any research on these it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2009, 08:27:06 PM »

I scanned the thread for the link -couldn't find it so i posted -it is from august of 09-havent seen anything from research  
that is more curent-whats cool about this research is that it shows that the delivery method is sound-and the components from the oils where received by young larve-I dont think the oil type would make a difference for the delivery of components that the oil possesses-not to mention the fact that this research is peer reviewed- cool RDY-B
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 08:56:04 PM by rdy-b » Logged
weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2009, 06:34:29 PM »

Thank you rdy-b, it is the most current.
This is some of the research's and studies Finski sent;
http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=je.2009.135.144
http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayArticleForFree.cfm?doi=b301510f&JournalCode=PO
It shows different results in numbers for different oils.
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2009, 07:56:12 PM »

Google "Faye Durham".
 Essential oils is her "Thing"
 I met her in Facebook. She seems very knowledgable on this sort of stuff..Very friendly too. Shes Beautiful too! Looks like a cross between Faye dunaway and jessica Lange!

your friend,
john
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