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Will cream of tartar harm my honey bees?

Okay, this is one of those ongoing arguments: some say “yes” and some say “no.” But first, why is cream of tartar even an issue? Cream of tartar, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate or potassium bitartrate (KC4H5O6), is a white, powdery, acidic substance that is a byproduct of the wine-making industry. It is found […] Read more

Anise oil for bees: they will follow it anywhere

Yesterday a reader, Harold Owen, commented on my post “Five Favorite Plants for the Bee Garden” by saying that anise is an excellent bee attractant. He is absolutely right. I want to thank him for mentioning it because anise is a great bee plant. I have never grown anise in the garden. But of all […] Read more

The secret of bee tea . . . remains a secret

A sidebar in the August 2010 Bee Culture created a lot of buzz about bee tea. The article claimed that bee tea boosts the immune system of honey bees, but it doesn’t say what in the tea helps the bees. It also doesn’t cite any studies that show a beneficial effect from its use. Bee […] Read more

Essential oils and honey bee health

The role that essential oils play in the life of a honey bee colony is complex, fascinating, and not well understood. Beekeepers are just beginning to grasp the potential that these oils may have, and recently a host of scientific papers have delved into various aspects of their chemistry. According to one paper, “essential oil” […] Read more