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Does Lemongrass Attract Bees? (How To Use)




Does Lemongrass Attract bees

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Beekeepers and bee lovers trying different ways to attract bees. It is often heard that people use lemongrass and lemongrass oil to attract bees. But the question is does lemongrass really attract bees?

To find the answer I have performed a little research on it. I planted lemongrass in my garden to see whether bees were attracted to them or not.

I also used lemongrass oil as a swarm lure in my bee swarm trap. In this post, I will discuss the major findings of my research on attracting bees using lemongrass.



Does Lemongrass Attract Bees?

From my experiment, I didn’t see bees attracted to lemongrass. Some other persons may disagree with me but this is what I got after planting lemongrass in my garden.


I kept observing the scenario for 15 consecutive days. I have seen bees that came into my garden flying around flower plants and other plants as usual. But they didn’t show any kind of interest in lemon grass.

I haven’t noticed a single one of them swinging around lemon grass. So, for my garden lemon grass failed to attract bees.

We know lemon grass is used as a repellent for bugs like mosquitos, snakes, etc. It has a sweet odor but it doesn’t seem to be attractive to bees.

Because bees are attracted to flowers of different colors. Lemongrass doesn’t have any flowers. This is why bees didn’t show any interest in lemongrass.

But if you don’t have any flower plants around, you can use lemongrass close to your swarm trap. Because the sweet odor of lemongrass will attract bees around. Bees might not show interest in the lemongrass. However, they will come around the lemongrass due to its sweet odor.



Does Lemon Grass Oil Attracts Bees?

Lemongrass failed to attract bees in my garden. Then I ran my next experiment. I used lemongrass oil as a swarm lure in my bee swarm trap.

I just put a single drop of lemongrass oil into the swarm lure. Within 2 days I got a swarm of bees in my swarm trap. Not only this. I also, found that bees became nice and gentle after using lemongrass oil.

Does lemongrass oil attract bees
Lemongrass oil

So, you can say lemongrass oil is an excellent lure to attract bees. Besides lemongrass oil also fights against varroa mites and prevents mold formation in the frames.

Lemongrass oil works quite perfectly for me to catch a swarm. It is also effective in my case to settle a new swarm in a new beehive.

We know when bees need to find a new nest they send scout bees first. Scout bees look for a perfect nesting site. Then they return to the hive and tell the workers about the new nest sites. Then the queen and workers swarm to build a new colony on that nest site found by scout bees.

The sweet odor of the lemongrass oil attracts the scout bees towards the swarm trap. Thus the use of lemongrass oil increases the chance of choosing the swarm trap as a new nesting site for the scout bees.

You can also use lemongrass oil in your beehive or bee swarm trap. However, the use of too much lemon grass oil can negatively impact the colony. So, you must know the proper use of lemongrass oil before applying it.


Benefits Of Using Lemongrass Oil In A Beehive

  • Lemongrass oil attracts scout bees to the swarm trap.
  • It is helpful to calm bees in a beehive.
  • It is helpful for settling bees in a new beehive.
  • It prevents forming molds in honeycombs.
  • It works as an antibiotic against mites.



How To Use Lemongrass Oil To Attract Bees

Lemongrass oil has proven to be an excellent swarm lure to attract bees. But if you can’t use it properly it won’t be effective for your case.

Swarm Trap


Use Of Lemongrass Oil As A Swarm Lure

  • Add one or 2 drops of lemon grass oil on the swarm lure not more than that.
  • If you want to increase the effectiveness of the lure, use an absorbent paper. Put a couple of more drops of lemongrass oil on it. Then, place it beside the swarm lure. As soon as bees settle on the swarm trap don’t forget to remove that paper.
  • Don’t use more than 2 drops of lemongrass oil on the swarm lure.


Tips On Using Lemongrass Oil In A Beehive

Lemongrass oil can also be used in a beehive. Either to help a new swarm to accept the hive, or to keep the environment healthy inside the hive.

Using lemongrass oil inside the hive, regardless of your purpose, requires caution. Because bees of other hives can also be attracted to the hive having lemongrass oil. It enhances the chance of the hive being robbed by another colony.

This can result in fighting among different colonies. So, if you have multiple colonies, you have to ensure 2 things.

  1. Use lemongrass oil in every colony.
  2. Feed all the colonies properly so they don’t need to rob another colony.

Another important thing you should remember is not to use excessive lemongrass oil. The odor of the lemongrass oil won’t last long. So, the highly dense smell of lemongrass oil will make the bees dependent on it.

So, when the lemongrass oil fragrance vanishes the bees may become aggressive. This can make bees swarming away. So, the use of an excess amount of lemongrass oil can cause the beehive to get abandoned by bees.



Final Thoughts & Helpful Resources

So, from my experiment, we can conclude that bees do not get attracted to lemongrass. However, lemongrass oil can be effective as a swarm lure to attract bees. Also, don’t use excess amounts of lemongrass oil to attract bees.


The following articles and research links might be helpful for you.

  • Q. Sabahi and M. M. Hamiduzzaman, “Toxicity of Anethole and the Essential Oils of Lemongrass and Sweet Marigold to the Parasitic Mite Varroa Destructor and Their Selectivity for Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Workers and Larvae,” Psyche, vol. 2018, Article ID 6196289. Read the article here.
  • G. N. Albo and C. Henning, “Evaluation of some essential oils for the control and prevention of American Foulbrood disease in honey bees,” Apidologie, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 417-422, Sep.-Oct. 2003. Read here.
  • Get the list of 4 best beekeeping books that every beekeeper must read.
  • Grommes, A.C., Harmon-Threatt, A.N. & Anderson, N.L. Adding essential oils to emergence tents has taxon-specific effects on trapping efficiency of ground-nesting bees. Apidologie 52, 378–387 (2021). Read the article.
  • Read detailed information about lemongrass on Wikipedia.
  • Do you know the perfect schedule for hive inspection? Check out this article.

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