Many of you have asked about how we treat for Varroa Mites.

Our new recipe is as follows:

1 Pint Tea Tree Oil + 8 Pounds Thymol Crystals + 1 pound Menthol crystals (this is optional because the thymol works as the vapor deterant) +up to 14 Pounds powdered sugar (add until desired consistency is reached) + 6 Pounds Crisco shortening = mite treatment

In order to make this treatment we warm the shortening in the kitchen oven until it is liquid. Then we pour the liquid shortening into our mixer along with the Thymol and menthol crystals. Once the crystals have melted we add the Tea Tree oil and sugar. It is then mixed until smooth and creamy.

Thymol crystals top, Menthol crystals bottom in preparation for patty making.We medicate the hives beginning in fall after the honey has been pulled and throughout the early winter. We apply four golf ball sized ‘dollops’ of the new medicine patty to each hive on the brood chamber topbars , we check them every 10-14 days. The patties stay potent a longer time than the coasters. So, only add more as the patties are consumed by the bees or dissipate. The thymol patties work the best when there is a light honey flow in progress and the bees are very active in the hive. Remember all of our hives are on screen bottoms and we rarely encounter temperatures above 90 degrees so if you are treating on solid bottom boards or are in the south where temperatures could exceed 90 degrees be very cautious as the thymol and menthol are very aromatic and could overly disturb the colony. We have been using this safe and natural method of treating for varroa mites for several seasons with very good success.

For the last 8 years we have been using Tylosin as a control for American Foul Brood. One treatment applied very early in spring 250mg in an 8oz sugar patty. We have had no occurrence of AFB while using this treatment. Tylosin in not affective against European Foul Brood however.

Above picture shows the little mixer we use and the finished consistency of the patty mixture.

This final picture shows how we place the 4 'dollops' of the patty mixture on the topbars of the brood chamber.

 Mixing Medication  Applying Medication