Essential Oils for Spider Bites Plus Beehives/Honey
By Caryn Gehlmann
Insects are an important part of our world. In this month’s Just for the Smell of It, I’ll be introducing ways to use essential oils for your health and to live harmoniously with our pollinators, especially bees since we can’t have essential oils without them! I had a question from a customer recently who asked about essential oils for spider bites, so this post is one to bookmark!
#1 — How to Use Essential Oils to Nurture Your Beehive
Many of you may not know this, but my sister and I are beekeepers! Together we run the Blissful Bee’s Apiary which provides us with beeswax for e3’s lip balms and local honey too (more on that below). When we first got started, like many beekeepers, we wanted to keep our hives healthy but didn’t want to resort to chemicals and pesticides.
Beehive mites and mold can be serious problems for beehives. Essential oils such as Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens, Spearmint Mentha spicata, Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, Thyme Thymus vulgaris, and Peppermint Mentha piperita, with their antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial/microbial properties can help to rid the hive of the harmful varroa mite. Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia may be used to discourage mold.
The most common methods of application are mixing the essential oil into sugar syrup which is fed to the bees or making a pollen patty. Both require care and exact measurements. I appreciated the recommendations in this article, Best Ways of Using Essential Oils for Honey Bees.
What about attracting bees? Yes, essential oils can be very helpful to swarm catchers. 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. Additional recommendations on using Lemongrass are available in this article, The Ultimate Guide for Using Essential Oils with Honeybees.
#2 — Add Essential Oils to Your Raw Honey for Delicious Flavor and an Immunity Boost
Raw honey is already healthy with its bee pollen, bee propolis, and plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. e3’s delicious raw honey, from the Applegate Valley in Oregon, comes straight from the beehive. But did you know you can add essential oils to your honey for fun flavor and immunity-boosting properties?
Now as a general rule I preach no ingesting of essential oils. There are dangers of ingesting oils, and sadly too many people and essential oil companies, promote unsafe practices. However, if you use a very small amount of certain essential oils and mix it in well with the honey you can do so safely.
Mix well. Then, add a teaspoon of your honey to a cup of warm water. Drink as is, or add ice if you’d like a cool, refreshing drink on a hot day! Adding a lemon slice or sprig of mint for a fun twist.
#3 — How to Use Essential Oils for Spider Bites. Relief At Last!
As I mentioned, a customer asked, “Is there anything I can do for a Black Widow spider bite?”
The answer I share here will work for any spider bite. However, keep in mind that if you suspect you were bitten by a Black Widow or another highly poisonous spider, you should see your doctor. This customer had already gone to the ER and was monitored and sent home. She had already been taking Epsom salt baths, drinking lots of water, and applying Lavender, but she reached out to me because it was starting to really itch. I gave her the following recommendation:
e3’s Essential Oils for Spider Bite Recipe
15 drops Lemon (for the antiseptic properties)
15 drops Basil ct. linalool (for analgesic properties)
20 drops Peppermint (for the analgesic properties and cooling action)
30 drops Lavender (for analgesic and antibacterial properties)
30 ml/1 oz. Carrier Oil of your choice
Mix the above and apply as needed. Of course, keep an eye out for signs of infection if you need to go back to the doctor!
We absolutely love it when our customers ask us questions or share with us different ways they’re using essential oils as chemical-free, natural solutions. If you’re not interested in essential oils for spider bites, what are you interested in? Which bug plagues you the most? Flies? Mosquitos? Chiggers? Fleas? Which insects would you like to attract more of? There are a lot of beneficial bugs out there and essential oils can help attract them. Please contact us or join our conversations on Facebook if you have any aromatherapy questions or tips to share with us.
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