Embark on a journey of exploration into the intriguing realm of Thymol Crystals and their potential impact on hive health. This blog post delves into the benefits and applications of this beekeeping tool, shedding light on its effectiveness and implications. Below is a picture of a hive we conducted field tests on in the 2022/23 season, with thymol:
Despite a rather average season, we successfully harvested three boxes of honey from this hive in mid-February 2023. Notably, the varroa control strategy employed utilized Thymol pads over the second brood box, accompanied by cardboard strips containing an oxalic/glycerine solution in the bottom brood box.
So how is it done? Read on for a guide on how to make your own Thymol Pads
A suggested recipe and cost sheet (Prices Valid Sep 2022)
Important things to note:
- Use Wettex Cloth
- Made from a combination of cotton and cellulose fibres.
- Can absorb liquid up to 11 times its own weight.
- A 15m roll can be purchased for $218 +GST, including $18.36 for freight.
- It is 265mm wide.
- If you cut the Wettex up into pieces 80mm long, will get 187 pieces.
- Cut those pieces into 5 to get 80 x 53mm rectangle piece.
- Therefore, a 15m roll will provide 935 pieces. $0.24 each
- Organic coconut oils can be purchased if required, to suit organic beekeepers.
- Or, if using Pams coconut oil from New World, it costs
- $10.20 +GST for 1 litre. Equals 924g. = $11.04 +GST per kg.
- 1kg of Thymol is $152.00 +GST. Beequip NZ supply this.
One proposed recipe is shown below but is a guide only.
$121.60 800g of Thymol
$13.25 1200g Cooking oil
$34.56 144 pieces of Wettex
$169.41 Total. = $1.18 +GST per rectangle, plus labour.
Set up a fan in an outside location to blow the fumes away.
Wear protective clothing, hat, and face shield.
The thymol scent will stay in clothes for a long time so don’t wear your best!
Put 800g thymol and 1200g of cooking oil into a Rice Cooker or deep fryer.
Heat to 80deg C and leave for about 5 minutes for all the thymol crystals to dissolve.
Give it a stir.
Add an appropriate number of Wettex rectangles to the solution and let them soak for 5 minutes.
Gently transfer them to an airtight container and repeat until all the solution is used.
We have a theory based on experience with only one hive that Thymol in a hive may make it more susceptible to robbing. The guard bees appear to struggle to determine which bees are robbers due to the powerful Thymol scent. One of our commercial clients only uses thymol in the spring, not the Autumn. Perhaps that is why.
We carry stock of Thymol Crystals. Click Here to view them online.