Essential Oils - Hygiene in Beehives

Combining colonies    -      New 1.25" Thymol tablets   SOLD OUT

The advantages of Thymol tablets:   - easy to use -  does not pollute - organic product.  100% Thymol, more than 99.6% pure essential oil.

Various odorants, produced by the colony and sensed by individual honeybee workers, can be involved, among others, in the communication between members of the colony (Bortolotti and Costa 2014). This way, all the honeybee colony members and castes can modify each other’s behavior. One of the most important kinds of odor sensed by honeybees is the odor of their nest. Its primary and vital function is to determine the identity of the colony members (Nunez et al. 2008). This odor is a mixture of volatiles originating from the compounds building up the nest wax, such as fatty acids and carbohydrates, together with the pheromones released by the brood, honeybee workers and the queen, and also the substances originating from food material.

Honeybees are permanently exposed to their own colony odor and sensing this odor allows guarding bees to distinguish between nest mates and foreign bees as well as intruders of other species. This recognition system, acquired by the worker honeybees after their emergence, and functioning during the imago lifetime, is highly adaptive and may be compared to the vertebrate immune system (D’Ettore et al. 2006). The first aim of the present investigation was to estimate the attractiveness for worker honeybees of their own colony odor.

Before combining a weak or queen less colony with a queen right colony, place one tablet on top of a frame in the hive with the queen. This will neutralize the odor from both colonies to save the queen and prevent fighting and killing inside the colonies.

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Mold  control  -  

In small colonies and during winter month in many hives pollen in combs not occupied by the bees, become mouldy. To prevent mould from growing in your hives, Thymol is the option. 


Applying a premeasured dose of pure crystalline Thymol to your hive will stop mould fungus from damaging the combs and pollen.. Thymol can also be used to protect stored combs with and without pollen outside the bee colony. 


Chalk Brood  

The disease is characterized by the infected brood, called ‘mummies’ so named by their appearance. Larvae die of chalk brood after the cells have been capped. 

Young larvae usually die within a couple of days of having been sealed in their cells, otherwise they die as pupae. 

Chalk brood is a infectious fungal disease which is caused by Ascosphaera apis and which appears to be on the increase. Only the larvae of Apis mellifera are particularly susceptible and Ascospaera apis does not multiply in adult bees, it will weaken a colony and reduce honey yield by up to 30%. 

Spores are highly infectious and carried in contaminated pollen by infected foraging bees with spores left at floral and water sites, drifting bees and drones. Ascospaera apis is ingested by the bee larvae with their food. 

It is known that Ascospaera apis grows best when the brood is chilled, and the correct temperature within the brood box is an important factor in limiting infection. As the disease has a limited ability to spread, most transmission occurs through the activities of beekeepers – exchanging equipment and bees, feeding contaminated honey and using contaminated tools and gloves. 

You should also ensure that you are using a high-quality syrup which is free from mould spores. 

The use of a ventilated floor can also help to reduce both humidity and condensation. It may also be worth considering moving your hive to a location with more sunlight and less moisture. 

Some people also consider replacing the queen, as she may be transferring the fungus throughout the hive. 


Very often, no method of prevention is sufficient to remove a chalk brood problem. If this is the case, then you need to apply a treatment to the hive to ensure that the fungus disappears. 

The currently available treatment option is to apply an premeasured dosage of pure crystalline Thymol to your hive and let it vaporise. This essential oil acts as an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent. 



Stonebrood is a fungal disease caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus niger. It causes mummification of the brood of a honey bee colony. The fungi are common soil inhabitants and are also pathogenic to other insects, birds, and mammals. 

The disease is difficult to identify in the early stages of infection. The spores of the different species have different colours and can also cause respiratory damage to humans and other animals. When a bee larva takes in spores, they may hatch in the gut, growing rapidly to form a collar-like ring near the head. After death, the larvae turn black and become difficult to crush, hence the name stone brood. Eventually, the fungus erupts from the integument of the larva and forms a false skin. In this stage, the larvae are covered with powdery fungal spores. 

Worker bees clean out the infected brood and the hive may recover depending on factors such as the strength of the colony, the level of infection, and hygienic habits of the strain of bees.


The only available treatment option is to apply an premeasured dose of pure crystalline Thymol to remove this fungus.