The following recipe should work about as well as Honey B Healthy, yet prove to be cheaper. It can be added in small quantities to feed to encourage feeding, however it has been known to occasionally cause robbing behavior due to its great appeal to bees.
· 5 cups water
· 2 ½ pounds of sugar
· 1/8 teaspoon lecithin granules (used as an emulsifier, can find at GNC or health store. Click link to buy online.)
· 15 drops spearmint oil
· 15 drops lemongrass oil
Bring the water to a boil and integrate the sugar until dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and quickly add the lecithin and the essential oils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed. Cool before using.
This solution should have a strong scent and not be left open around bees.
Use 1 to 4 teaspoonfuls per quart of 1:1 sugar syrup.
The University of West Virginia extension article was written by Amrine & Noel, the developers of HBH. (Note that the quoted text uses the abbreviation "ca" here. It is short for the Latin "circa" meaning "about" in this case.) This article states:
“We add 1 teaspoonful of HBH (ca 5 ml) to a quart of 1:1 sugar syrup in order to stimulate brood rearing, pollen collection and to initiate early spring development...”
‘We add 2 teaspoonfuls of HBH (ca 10 ml) to a quart of 1:1 sugar syrup in order to improve the health of the colony, in cases of dysentery, PMS, chalk brood or other ailments....”
“We add 4 teaspoonfuls of HBH (ca 20 ml) to a quart of 1:1 sugar syrup when we introduce queens, treat with formic acid or cause other disruptive disturbances to the hive....”