Rhubarb plant mitigating mites?

I read that as DYNAMITE. :smile: I can just imagine @JeffH dynamiting cane toads. Very funny. :blush:


While this is sort of what I was ultimately going to do. In its place a few partial leaves on the top of the hive inside the box. The bees ultimately will remove it and didn’t know if that would help mitigate mites. Presently I use an essential oil mixture on a drink coaster that I soak in essential oils and they remove the drink coaster piece by piece and by doing so mites are mitigated. I virtually never find mites in my hive. And was just thinking this is just another preventive measure.

Just looking for thoughts, certainly not any guarantees just didn’t know if anybody else had tried this.

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That looks like a healthy solution to some soil amendment. However, I’ve used lime in the past and that works great too. Thanks for the tip!

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This is certainly interesting and worth a try.

Even if it only provides a 10 or 15% reduction, all the other efforts are providing a little reduction i.e. screen bottom board, healthy hive, a queen that has been bred for some mitigation/resistance. It’s just another little step. Just didn’t want to cause death or other issues to the hive. I will take baby steps on the number of leaves I place in the top. Probably start out with just 1/2 a one.

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I wonder if other veggies that contain oxcilic acid would work.

Hey Dawn:

Got plenty of both ( rhubarb n mites ). Sorry :neutral_face:! Not sharing at the moment … not got my fill of rhubarb pies yet this season :laughing:… I could loan you a few mites :laughing:!

So far my mite levels are low this Spring (knock on wood). But that could change … I’ve got a young lady that just started to Flow2 dropping by Saturday to help me with my hives (If the Wx is mild n not pouring). Might do a check sugar roll n maybe “Walk-Away Split” on my Bamboo hive. Guess I’ll see how colonies are on the weekend !



I have heard of people deliberately planting Oxalis near their hives. Not sure it really has a significant effect though. This nice little article lists other edibles which contain Oxalic Acid. :blush:


And one would definitely have to live in a climate where it doesn’t freeze. Interesting article

I’m a new beekeeper. I have 4 hives and would love to do things as “naturally” as possible-including treating mites. I’m curious what essential oil mixture you use. Thanks!

There are a few essential oil recipes when using the search function.
Marty’s recipe is around post 80 on this thread.

I have plenty but you have to pick it up. Our mailman wont take it.
When did you say you will be here? I can provide bed and breakfast at no extra charge.

Rhubarb is an excessive feeder. I put chook dung at least 100mm (4") deep around all plants twice a year. Once in early spring and once after clear felling it in about mid January to get a second crop before it goes dormant in Winter.

PS It has to be watered at least every other day or so to get a good crop. Should grow well in your area. I use an old bath now to limit the crop.

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I hope to take you up on that one day! :blush:

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I used to grow rhubarb under a dripping garden tap for many years, till I replaced the tap washer and it died, I guess from lack of water. back then everyone grew it but sadly I seldom see it and many, many years since I have enjoyed stewed rhubarb and ice cream. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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You are right on. But everyone grew a lot of other veg as well.
I stew it with apple and goes on my rolled oats and yogurt for breakfast.

So very true Wilfred, My dads back yard was all a vegie garden and chook pen, we were as self sufficient as you you could be given the space. I have a couple of raised garden beds and enjoy spending my time in the garden but sadly my daughter I suspect couldn’t boil an egg. people are going for more processed foods that are manufactured and suffering heath problems from it. It supersizes me that people are living longer, maybe because of advancements in medicines and science.


I have been putting rhubarb leaves in the hives I look after and we have not needed to use any other treatments. We just put a leaf in each time we go for an inspection on top of your top box, and let the bees break it down.
They can get rid of a leaf in a week and in doing so ingest the Oxalic acid, as the summer progresses there is more Oxalic acid in the leaves so they get a stronger dose as their numbers increase.


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Fascinating and sounds promising - how are you measuring the effectiveness Kevin?

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What an excellent idea to bury orange rinds in the vegetable garden! I also go through tons of oranges – and also grapefruit, limes, and lemons. I have some very old naval orange trees, a Seville, and a mystery orange that’s very low acid and makes delicious juice. I usually put the rinds in the compost bin, and sometimes use dried rinds as kindling. Although I hate to admit it, sometimes they just lay on the ground and rot, because there’s more than I can keep up with.

In this picture, the first tree on the right is a white grapefruit, and beyond it is the mystery orange. There’s also a little Santa Rosa plum in the center of “Bird Watch Circle”.

I’ve been thinking about extracting essential oil with the vodka evaporation method. Anyway, this year I’ll also try burying them in the vegetable garden!

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Hi Claire, thank you :slight_smile: You have a beautiful garden there.
In relation to the citrus skins in the garden, I guess you noted that I cover the citrus skins with dolomite, which compensates for the acid in the citrus. When I have fine wood ash available, I use that instead. I haven’t chased any oranges for a few years. I guess I should grow my own. I’ve been growing sugar cane after a honey customer gave me some cuttings. I got myself a decent hand juicer, so I juice the sugar cane I grow. I make mulch out of what’s left over.


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