For beekeeper’s garden: Wormwood

Common Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Wormwood is a very pleasantly smelling perennial plant. It is great for making a flea powder (using D.E. as a base). I have used it on both animals and birds (chickens). And some may even try it in their deworming powder for goats (be careful, as it may damage liver).

Now, what about bees? Wormwood is used by Eastern European beekeepers in their dusting (for mites). It has properties similar to menthol, and it is told to be effective in helping to fight off those infections that are caused by Gram positive bacteria (AFB).

But, also… In my own trials, the bees, being insects, highly dislike Artemisia and will try to rid their hive of every last grain of the dusting powder (I use saw dust as a base), which is the whole purpose of dusting, of course.

Needless to say, I never dust over my honey supers. I use wormwood in very small quantities for dusting. Also, I use it instead of the Bee Quick. I rub my hands in it, to discourage bees from crawling all over them.

I cannot describe how grateful I am to have discovered all these properties in one plant. So, as the spring comes, I recommend getting a couple of those pretty shrubs, if you don’t have them already:-)

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1 Comment

  • Gray Rutherford September 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I find your Artemesia blog very interesting.
    I am on a farm on the South Cape coast of South Africa at Wilderness. We have the Cape Honey Bee. Last summer I saw some on flowering wild Artemesia afra that grow in profusion here. I am not certain that they were collecting pollen though but will do a proper survey soon. But what else would they be doing there ?
    Artemesia afra was used extensively as a medicinal herb by the indigenous people.


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