For Healthy Honeybees

Disclaimer: Honeybees are a complex biological insect existing in an even more complex environment consisting of many variables which makes experimenting and testing difficult and at times seemingly impossible. Variables such as temperature, humidity, hive strength, brood rearing, time of year, area, nectar flow, hygienic behavior, etc. all have a direct bearing on end results. Therefore, we make no claims of efficacy or safety using organic acids or essential oils to control honeybee parasites or pathogens. Only that we can reduce mite populations during certain times of the year; especially when there is no brood, using certain essential oils like wintergree oil in grease patties, tracking strips, paper towels and our new wick system. During a dearth of nectar in the brood season, feeding essential oils appears to help stimulate brood rearing by acting as a natural nectar flow helping to keep the hives healthy. Using our low dose formic acid/HBH fumigator during the height of the brood season seems to kill more than 90% of the Varroa mites on the bees and in the cells with little, if any, harmful affect to the brood, queens or young bees.

Mission Statement: Our mission is to find an effective treatment regime using natural organic compounds to control parasitic mites and pathogens in honey bee colonies in Northeastern North America, using the least labor and cost possible. We plan to collaborate with interested parties from different regions of North and South America, Europe and elsewhere to further improve these treatments. We also invite interested parties from these regions to work with us in a concerted effort to corroborate and/or improve our treatments. We plan to disseminate our findings to fellow beekeepers and interested parties worldwide on how to minimize acaricide use in beekeeping, and possibly avoid such use in the future, by developing effective year round treatment protocols in various climatic conditions, using organic compounds to control parasitic mites and pathogens in honey bee colonies. We place the welfare of the honey bee foremost in our efforts and recommend that all beekeepers work together to initiate a worldwide network of scientists and beekeepers for the efficient exchange of information on various methods of organic research to control these devastating mites and pathogens they carry.

(1) We have discontinued the use of compounds not on the EPA exempted active (25b) and inert ingredients requirements (4a) of FIFRA. The only compound we are currently using not on the exempted lists is Formic Acid which we are using in our low dose organic acid experiments.
(2) We have found wintergreen oil to be an active ingredient in the control of Tracheal and Varroa mites even though it is on the FIFRA 4A Minimal Risk Inert list. To avoid any misleading statements about
wintergreen oil we suggest you log-on to the EPA sties below for detailed explanations of active and inert ingredients.
(3) Natural compounds like essential oils being not standard make testing and claims of efficacy unpredictable. In contrast, Synthetic compounds which are standard make testing and efficacy predictable.

"In extensive screening tests, many oils show significant acaricidal activity. Some oils are repellent to V. jacobsoni, others are attractive, and some cause mite mortality. However, of more than 150 essential oils and components of oils tested, only very few have proven effective when applied in hives in field trials. This is most probably due to the fact, that the screenings tests used were incapable of predicting the acaricidal effect under field conditions. Difficulty in obtaining standardised essential oils also affects treatment predictability. Only a combination of wintergreen oil and thermal treatment, an aerosol treatment of a thyme-sage oil mixture, and the passive evaporation of thymol, oregano oil and marjoram oil in combination with diluted formic acid have been used successfully for mite control." Anton Imdorf and Stefan Bogdanov

Click HERE For Biopesticides WEB page
Clarification of 25b Minimum Risk Pesticides PR Notice Issued 5/25/00
PR Notice 2000-6 - Minimum Risk Pesticides Exempted under FIFRA Section 25(b) Clarification of Issues.(33k, PDF)
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ FALL 1999 VOL.19, NO. 3 Inert Ingredients in Pesticides:
FIFRA Sections 18 and 24c

(Last Updated March 7, 2001)


This is a picture of my sister, to whom this research is dedicated.
Click HERE for dedication to her.

"If I did one thing in my life, I hope I did something for our Earth"

Marlene B. Noel 1998