Oregano Essential Oil: friend to the Organic Beekeeper

Essential oil is the term given to highly volatile, liquid plant compounds that have an intensive odor. They are found in the seeds, fruits, leaves, flowers and roots of the plants. The essential oils in plants act as a repellent against insects and mites. Sometimes, they also act as attractants for pollinators. Essential oils are also extensively used in various ways to kill mites and other pests in honey bee colonies. It is scientifically proven that essential oils have lower pH levels, a phenomenon that is detrimental to the mites but easily tolerated by honeybees.



Oregano Essential Oil: Ultimate Mite Repellent for Honey Bee Industry

Derived from the flowers and leaves of Oregano, a hardy perennial herb, the Oregano essential oil is native to the continent of Europe. It has excellent amounts of phenols, such as Carvacrol and Thymol. Both phenols are found to have incredible shielding effects against mite infestations. Healthy maintenance of beehives forms an inevitable component of modern day beekeeping. Beekeepers have a habit of transporting colonies of bees routinely across the country each year. As a result of which, honeybees get infested with diseases and pests.


The common enemies of honey bees are Varroa mites, Tracheal mites, wax moths and small hive beetles. Of all the pests in honey bee colonies, the one that is most dangerous is the Varroa mite. These are probably the biggest enemies of beekeepers and honeybees around the world. The mites usually feed on the blood of bees and reproduce on their pupae. Robbing and drifting are the methods via which the mite spreads across the bee colonies. 



Oregano Treatment for Varroa Mite Infestation

In a recent study, it was found that the use of oregano essential oil in bee colonies has increased the mortality rate of mites to 100%. This has made oregano oil an effective solution for Varroa infestation in bee hives. In both the methods cited below, an essential oil is not fed directly but is either mixed with sugar syrups or patties. 



Sharing some Oregano Oil Treatment Options: Method 1

Add few drops of Oregano oil into sugar patties and place them on the upper bars of the beehive. As the bees move about the colonies, chances are that their bodies rub against these patties, consequently distributing it across the entire hive. When the mite comes across these patties, it will start feeding on it.



Sharing some Oregano Oil Treatment Options: Method 2

In this method, oregano oil added to the liquid sugar syrup and the same is fed to honey bees. The nursing bees then feed this syrup to the infested larvae.


Result: In both the cases, once the mite starts consuming the syrup or patty with Oregano oil, their ability to lay eggs gets hindered or delayed. The phenols in the Oregano oil interfere with the gestation cycle of the mites, forcing them to die at an early stage.



Recently, there has been a shift from the use of chemical pesticides to eco-friendly pesticides. The environmental problems caused by chemicals have become a matter of big concern for the last few decades. In such a scenario, essential oils come as a cleaner alternative to store-bought pesticides. But, while sourcing for essential oil, it is vital that you buy the ones that are organically certified and safer to use. HBNO’s pure Oregano Essential Oil is cold pressed from oregano plants that have been grown organically. Health and Beauty Natural Oils (HBNO), based in California, is committed to offering its customers with the highest quality essential oils at competitive prices. We provide essential oils in both bulk and wholesale qualities to all parts of the world.


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