Author Topic: Rhubarb Leaves?  (Read 260 times)

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Offline Newbee

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Rhubarb Leaves?
« on: July 08, 2020, 04:54:09 pm »
Was talking with a fellow Beek who mentioned they had heard people using leaves from rhubarb plants to combat pests. She said just pick a leaf from the garden and place it on top. The bee's will eat the leaves, and there's something in them that keeps pests (aka mites) off them?
Curious if anyone else has heard of this?
Thanks.

Offline Zweefer

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Re: Rhubarb Leaves?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2020, 10:07:41 pm »
Rhubarb has oxalic acid in it - the same stuff used to vaporize for mite control.  That being said- there is no way to gauge the amount of acid you are applying, and as such no studies can or will back up the effectiveness of this idea / method.   I could go on, but I will let others chime in on this.   >:(
Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
Henry David Thoreau

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Rhubarb Leaves?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2020, 09:47:24 am »
Never heard of this "Old beekeeper's tale" before.  The leaves are poisonous to humans.  Honey bees will chew off manageable pieces and carry stuff like this out the front of the hive.  I would rather have workers doing something productive rather than devoting time to leaf removal.

Offline Zweefer

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Re: Rhubarb Leaves?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2020, 09:59:17 am »
 :yah:
Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
Henry David Thoreau

Offline Newbee

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Re: Rhubarb Leaves?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2020, 08:00:42 am »
Thanks guys. That was kinda my thinking, but... I gave it a try a couple weeks ago anyways (had some rhubarb in the garden). Inspection this week showed no sign of the leaf in the hive at all. Not even a little piece of stem left over. I did not notice a big increase in litter on the bottom tray, so they must have been taking it away from the hive.
I believe it was the Oxalic acid in the leaves that was suggested as the reason for including it.
Thanks again.

- K