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Preventative measures


Hi all

two things I’ve been encouraged to do are:

  • feed the bees a tonic of 1 part water and 1 part white sugar and the juice of fresh garlic, 2 litres each week for three weeks before winter

  • in spring and summer, every three weeks or so move old brood and honey frames (up to two frames in total) up to the honey super, make sure you don’t move the queen too, and replace them with new frames with foundation, that way there will be a rotation of frames

both these measures will help prevent a build up of disease or pests

I’m not sure if this could be done with the Flow hives.

hope that helps

best wishes


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I use all medium supers and greatly appreciate the freedom to move frames around from super to super. I keep hearing about the Rose method. It is time I read up on it to understand what it is.
The addition of garlic juice is interesting. How is it beneficial for the bees? I have been keeping bees for 7 years now and am continueing to learn.


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Thank you for the link! I will definately follow and watch all the videos.


I don’t know about garlic …would it taint the frames?
Thymol is a good addition to winter feed to help prevent Nosema.
I try not to feed my bees in the autumn but usually get some thymolated syrup in for that very reason.


Hi all

Thanks, Dexter for letting us know what people do when they use different frame sizes.

I think you, Dexter, should keep in mind that this forum has people from around the world. In Australia, I have not seen the rose hive, but only the Langstroth hive. Additionally, I have not seen the short frames used in the honey supers, only the same size frames as in the brood box. In this way frames can be interchanged.

(Gayle) The garlic works as a tonic, just like with us. (dangerous) I don’t know what ‘tainting the frames’ would mean, maybe make them smell, but if the bees did not like the garlic, they would not eat the sugar water with it. So, even if it ‘tainted the frames’ what difference would it make? I would imagine that it would help prevent disease getting into wooden frames. The beekeeper who recommended it to me has not had trouble with disease and he’s been doing it for more then 30 years and his father did it in Turkey.

(dangerous) I’d rather try more natural methods before using man made chemicals, which we know are often not tested for long term effects.

Best wishes


I have used garlic juice, and garlic oil for years with my aquarium and pond fish. It is an amazing anti-microbial, anti-parasite, and immune system and appetite stimulant. In salt water aquarium you often can not medicate the fish due to the side effects it has on the other invertebrate tank inhabitants. Garlic is a safe way to treat, and take preventive measures against common fish diseases.

So I would imagine it could work just as well on the bees. I might be afraid of it giving the honey a garlic taste if too much was used.


Hi adagna

thanks for the reply

I am eating the honey from the local beekeeper who does this and put me onto it. The honey had no hint of garlic. I guess it’s because he uses it sparingly, like you suggest. Since he uses it three weeks before winter, if any garlic taste or smell got into the honey, which I doubt anyway, that honey would be consumed over winter, or the little left of it compared to the honey harvested next time, would make the smell ineffective.

best wishes


What is the ratio of garlic juice to sugar water? And what is is method of extracting the juice?


I too would like to try the garlic sugar method. How do you extarct the garlic juice and what is the ratio for garlic to sugar water?


Great question, I would not even know to ask that. I like this idea. For if I am filling ill I eat garlic and I am rarely ill. this is good for many thinks

as well as the ratio, times of year you put it out


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Thanks @Brother_Joe_Smith, I’d never heard of using garlic with bees. It makes sense, I usually dose up on garlic if i feel a bug coming on. I might have to try that one, I’ll be interested to hear how effective it is for others. I too would like to know the ratio.


ratio: 3-4 cloves of garlic (is that the right word?) to 2 litres

extraction: he crushes it then strains it in muslin, I garlic press it into the mixture, stir it around, let it sit for a while then strain in my honey strainer

as I mentioned before, he feeds them the month before winter, 2 litres each week for three weeks

I think he also does it another time, but can’t remember. I’ll check about that.


Oil from Thyme. Garlic and Thyme are both plants


Is there any particular reason he doesn’t use this in the spring? Seems like that is when a lot people are giving supplemental feeding. If you leave the honey alone for the winter they can just eat that and won’t need sugar syrup in the fall.


More chance of ‘polluting’ the honey with a garlic taste?

My Sicilian Grandmother thought EVERYTHING was better with garlic. And raised me up the same, but I think even she might not have wanted garlic honey in her jar ; -)

I do think that garlic as a fall tonic makes all kinds of sense. That is not something my Father and I have tried, but next October we will be doing it.

I went looking around and found this interesting blog;



That is a useful link Sara. I was very surprised to see drops of mineral oil placed on frames in the top super. Mineral oil kills bees if it gets on their bodies. Maybe they avoid the small drops?


I had never heard that and went poking around some more;

I couldn’t find anyone dealing with that, but I found lots of sites talking about using oil for mite control, including fogging with it.

Where did you learn about it being dangerous for bees? I am wondering if we have urban legend running into science?

Maybe so long as the oil is in vapor or spread on a surface, not in a pool, it’s ok?