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Autumn Thymol Treatment (from Hivemakers recipie)

For members who decide to make their own Thymol treatment

Original post made by Hivemaker:

The mixture is 8 grams thymol to 12 grams oil,sunflower,rape,olive or even old chip oil,multiply this measurment to make more.

Warm in old pan outdoors until all the thymol crystals have dissolved then add 20 ml of this mixture to a piece of the green absorbent garden oasis(not the grey one) this is the size of a sardine tin or half pound cut comb container. two inches wide, three and a half long, and 8 ml thick. Put oasis in container then put liquid on, leave overnight to soak in,will soak in better if warm.

To treat bee’s cut this in half and place the two parts on top of brood frames over the brood area. reduce entrance to about 2 inches and block of any feed holes,and mesh floors,give second treatment in two weeks and another 2weeks later.

I just move the previous treatment to the outside of the brood box on the edges,some bee’s chew this right away to nothing others don’t touch it some just nibble the corners,makes no differene as it still works really well.look at varroa floor the next day,mites will be dead. needs to be used in warmish weather and some bee’s may hang out of entrance for a couple of days others take no notice,no bad effect on bee’s or queens,helps to prevent chalkbrood, much more effective than apiguard.

I believe this was tested on around 5000 hives over a period of time in spain,i have used this and this alone for the past five years,and it does not hurt if left in. nucs use half this dose.I also tried formic in nassenhieder evaporators and canadian blast method,good for killing not use when supers are on,can be used on swarms as soon as queen stars to lay but before brood is sealed or if bad build up of mites in summer by doing artificial swarm and treating the broodless bee’s for short time and parent colony until all young bee’s have emerged and the mites killed.

Admin ( beekeepingforum Admin) edit:

I follow the recipe above with the only difference being I fold a Kleenex into 4 and add a single dose,then put into a plastic container(Curry size)and add a sheet of grease prood paper,I then do the same with the next Kleenex and so on.

When I get to the hives I add one tissue per hive discarding the grease proof paper.


Thymol Safety Data

Thymol Crystals, Usage in beekeeping

Thymol crystals have two distinct uses in British beekeeping, first as an antifungal or anti fermentation agent in producing sugar syrup feed and secondly as an aromatic and corrosive sublimation material for use against the varroa mite in special evaporator frames.

Thymol crystals are corrosive and nasty…
Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Eye, skin and respiratory irritant. Eye contact may cause serious harm.

Please handle them with care and use suitable protective clothing.

The first of these uses is as an anti fungal and anti fermentation agent in the preparation of sugar syrup for feeding to bees.

R.O.B Manley propagated the idea of using thymol in syrup intended for winter feeding in order to prevent fermentation and the growth of mould.

Thymol is only slightly soluble in water, but it is readily soluble in surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol in USA) which is ethanol to which a small amount of methanol has been added, to render it unfit to drink. It is normally used to sterilize surfaces and to cleanse skin abrasions and to toughen skin.

By using surgical spirit we can first produce a ‘stock solution’ that is miscible with sugar syrup or honey.

Manley’s recipe has become a standard and even if the requirement is for a stronger solution, this is often specified as ‘3x Manley strength’ or ‘4x Manley strength’. His original recipe was one ounce of thymol crystals dissolved in five fluid ounces of surgical spirit to make the stock solution. Then half a fluid ounce of this mixture was added to 1 Cwt (112 lbs) of sugar, which he dissolved in 7 imperial gallons (8.75 US Gal.) of water for direct use as winter feed. These obsolete units convert directly into 28.5 gm thymol crystals to 142 ml surgical spirit which is a ridiculous way of expressing it. However 30 gm thymol dissolved in 150 ml of surgical spirit will give a solution of the same strength and the figures are both more manageable and more easily remembered.

The stock solution is added to syrup at the rate of one teaspoon to a three gallon (imperial) quantity of syrup. This converts to 5 ml of stock solution in 13.5 litres, which is not a brilliant way of describing it, but the final strength is not critical. I have several plastic ‘jerry’ cans that hold 15 litres and I use 1, 2, 3 or 4 teaspoons of concentrate according to the strength that I require.

The second usage that beekeepers have for thymol crystals is as ‘non medicinal curative substance’, which is means by which we in UK skirt around the need for approval as a veterinary drug for items like this, formic acid, lactic acid and oxalic acid in the treatment of bees against varroa.

The crystals are allowed to evaporate slowly by loading them into special frames… Two types of these are detailed on the Frakno frame and Brookes/Knight frame pages.

Thymol Crystals are Available From:- E.H.Thorne Ltd.

I neither endorse nor condemn this product. The information is published here is a matter of public record. The information is placed here for the education of those that wish to read it.

BEFORE you obtain or use the material concerned, please ascertain the legality of doing so in your location as the product may or may not be approved in your geographic State or Country.

Since this page was first written another thymol based treatment APIGUARD has become available.

Considerable success has been reported on the forum from using this recipe of Hivemakers. Cheers Pete.


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