Using Essential Oils for Honeybees

| 3/25/2014 12:28:00 PM

Circle of BeesThe Polar Vortex landed a blow to the Mid-West where Five Feline Farm is located. Many of the beekeepers in this area report a significant loss of colonies over the harsh winter. One beekeeper described opening a hive to find bees appearing frozen in place. The entire colony dead.

Our losses are not confirmed at this point but at least one of the two hives appears alive. The bees show signs of cleansing flights and cleaning of the hive. These stories of colony death prompted me to search for ways to improve the health of our bees to guard against such losses.

This is where essential oils come in.

Over the winter, we fed candy boards purchased from a reputable source that included protein and a product called Honey B Healthy. My research shows this is basically a proprietary mix of essential oils.

As a small operation, we have the option to create our own supplements in manageable quantities. This does two things. First it is likely a cheaper route and we can control the ingredients both in proportion and quality.

Three primary essential oils are useful in beekeeping: lemongrass, spearmint and thyme. Other oils such as wintergreen, spearmint and tea tree oil are also used in some formulations. When selecting an essential oil, it is critical to source food grade oils. Organic certification is a plus. All of these essential oils are plant based, natural products safe for human consumption. Most are readily available in health food stores.

8/13/2018 8:22:17 AM

what about using hops essential oil as a way to control v. mites?

6/26/2018 9:27:57 PM

Hey I'm new to bee keeping. But my dad had bees 30 years ago when I was little. My great grandpa use to have hundreds of hives. I love bees and honey. Feel bad how they are dieting of so much. I think a lot has to do with all the sprays farmers put on the crops. I caught a swarm couple weeks ago and are doing awesome. I want to thank who ever wrote this article and for everyone that make videos on bee keeping. Thank you Jacob s. Anyone have any advice or informationon on caring, treament, and bee keeping my email is

8/16/2017 1:05:24 PM

I would add the oils after it cools. Heat breaks down the oils and you have less of an affect with healing properties..

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