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.
• 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