Well, a common pest in beehives, is the Small Hive Beetle. I got to see one in the flesh today, and it's days are numbered. If you're wondering why these beetles are a pest, they lay their nasty little maggots in the hives...in the comb. Nobody wants maggots in their honey.
Usually the small Hive Beetle is trapped or squashed...but wouldn't it be better just to deter the nasty pests altogether?
Being an essential oil junkie, I was very pleased to read that Wintergreen essential oil (and I'm talking pure Therapeutic grade, not the inferior grades that could contain toxins that will affect the bees) is very effective at repelling hive beetles. And it doesn't take much of it either. One part Wintergreen to sixteen parts carrier oil (we're using coconut oil) is said to be the ideal ratio to repel the beetles without doing any harm to the bees.
For anyone wanting to try this, here's the procedure:
Take 1ml of good quality Wintergreen essential oil
(you can contact me through the above link if you want to get or find out more about top quality wintergreen oil)
In a ziplock bag or a flat bottomed plate, mix that 1ml wintergreen with 16ml of carrier oil. I'm using coconut, but you can use olive or canola. Do not make the blend any more concentrated than this. Add more carrier oil if anything.
Now, take a cardboard coaster and soak it in this oil blend. After a few hours, or even overnight, you can remove the coaster and place it above the frames in your hive. The scent should repel all the small hive beetles, but not bother the bees.
Sorry I don't have a pic of the hive beetles, but it rained all day and I wasn't game to take the camera outside!
I'll try and give a progress report in a week or so when we can see how effective this repellent is.