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Can essential oils kill varroa mites?

October 30, 2018

This is basically us right now.

Every idea, no matter how ridiculous, is being talked out. Every weird feeder concept and mite theory is being explored. Every stone turned over.

One of the cool things about being completely new to this field is that we don’t yet know to be embarrassed about our terrible ideas (OK, we’re a tiny bit embarrassed about the fake flower idea). So everything we think of, we research. And everything that seems remotely promising, we’ll test.

Last week Dick set us on the path of bee friendly essential oils. This week we started our dive.

There is a wealth of research on the efficacy and safety of essential oils for mite-control. And there is a good amount of data on essential oils as effective in killing varroa (if you remember from last week, Peter Kevan’s research was mostly focused on tracheal mites).

We feel good about this solution. But the next question is how to get the oils onto and into the bees when they visit BeeKeep. That involves creating something irresistible to the bees.

So we’re also looking up...bee recipes? If you had told any of us a year ago that we’d be reading peer-reviewed papers about larvae and looking up recipes to supplement honey bees’ diets, well...it’s still mind-blowing to us how far things have progressed in just the past couple months.