Essential Oils For Bees And Healthy Beehives
My sister Marge and I are beekeepers. The buzz in our hives is amazing thanks to the guidance of an expert beekeeper mentor and we use our essential oils for bees to support healthy, thriving hives.
In 2011, with curious fascination we bought our first two hives. With the mentoring of Sara Bee Girl, founder and Beekeeper of Beegirl.org, we set up our apiary and had a successful first year.
Two years later, we gave our apiary a name, Blissful Bee’s Apiary. We currently have five hives and counting as we continue to capture swarms. Gathering a swarm of bees is one of the joys of being a beekeeper. If you’re lucky enough to see a swarm, don’t be afraid, honey bees are docile and only sting to protect their Queen and the hive. Call a beekeeper! PLEASE do not spray them with Raid! We need our bees. Thirty percent of the food we eat is dependent on pollinators. Love those honey bees!
If you happen to be stung by a honey bee, don’t pull the stinger out because this will squeeze out more venom; instead scrape the stinger out with your fingernail or other straight edged object.
Planting a pollinator garden or even just a few plants that bees love is a great way to support your local bees. Bees are attracted to plants such as Lavender, Spearmint, Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, Lemongrass and Sage. Not surprising, essential oils that come from these plants are also beneficial to maintaining a healthy hive. The antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic properties are valued by bees and their keepers.
Remember NO pesticides should be used in your garden. For more information on how to use your essential oils to keep a pest free, productive garden see our education post Essential Oils for Garden & Gardener.
Picture of plants in Blissful Bee Apirary, pollinator garden. We have planted Lavender, Thyme, Oregano, Sage and Sunflowers.
Essential Oils for Bees – Healthy Hives
I have started gathering anecdotes from long time beekeepers as to “How, When, Where and Why essential oils can be used to support the health of Honey Bee and Hives?” Bees and their hives can suffer from a variety of maladies i.e. mites, fungus, nosema, chaulkbrood, foul brood, and mold. Essential oils such as Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens, Spearmint Mentha spicata, Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, Thyme Thymus vulgaris and/or Peppermint Mentha piperita with their antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial/microbial properties help to rid the hive of the harmful varroa mite and/ or impair their reproduction; Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia may be used to discourage mold.
Honey bees give off various pheromones to attract, distract or repel other bees, insects or animals. Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus mimics the lemony pheromone of the Queen (which attracts the worker bees). If you want to attract a swarm try layering a box with drops of lemongrass essential oil. As swarm catchers, we continue to use lemongrass for this purpose.
Essential oils for bees can be used both as preventative and treatment in honey bee hives. Colony Collapse Disorder is impacting large numbers of hives – the bees just disappear and the reason is still a mystery. Bees pollinate 30% of the food we eat, so it is important to support healthy, thriving honey bees and hives.
Bee Blissful! Bee Sweet! We are planning for a good honey harvest; enough to keep the bees fed thru the winter as well as enough to have our sweet friends at SOAPTOPIA make our Yummy HONEY & ORANGE natural Soap. Bee Happy!
Would you like to learn more about essential oils – like where they come from, how they’re made and how to make your own special blends? Simply download our free ebook, Listen to Your Nose – An Introduction to Aromatherapy.