Here is a recipe for making one’s own herbal essential oils supplement for honeybee health. Various herbs can be used to complement and supplement the honeybee immune system. If you are new to keeping bees and offering supplemental food and herbs, you may want to buy ready prepared mixtures offered by beekeeping supply companies (namely, HoneyBHealthy) so as to avoid any concentration mishaps.
We are currently researching various concoctions with additional herbals and natural ingredients. The recipe below for our basic Elixir will need to be added to syrup.
1 cup of elixir to 10 gallons of syrup
You can reduce by ratio for smaller quantities of syrup. Fall syrup is thicker than spring syrup and is a 2:1 ratio of sugar by weight to water by weight. This means that 16 pounds of pure granulated sugar added to 1 gallon of water is 2:1 ratio Fall syrup. In the spring, the ratio is 1:1 which is 8 pounds of sugar to 1 gallon of water.
Zia Abeja Elixir- herbal essential oil supplement
1 cup water
1 tsp lecithin
1/8 oz. spearmint oil
1/8 oz. lemongrass oil
Heat water with lecithin until dissolved. Put water/lecithin mix into sealable, shakable jar/container. Pour in essential oils. Shake well. Add to 7-8 gallons of either 1:1 or 1:2 sugar/honey syrup. Elixir can be fed directly or spritzed on combs (avoid brood cells).
Elixir can be spritzed on bees as well for fusing of hives, new queen installation and also for swarm luring. We have found this elixir to promote health enhancement in hives of discerning conditions and in poor forage time/zones. We promote the establishment of diversified hedgerows and native and medicinal cultivations to better feed bees through natural and diversified forage. We recommend supplemental naturally derived alimentation to our bees and other livestock when conditions necessitate.
We do not claim this recipe to eradicate any particular pest or pathogen; but have, in our experience, seen it alleviate conditions and help in the turn-around of colony organisms which seem to be afflicted with varying illness including chalkbrood, and “EFB-like” symptoms.