Using Patties
A Beekeeper Feeding Pollen Patties (Brown) and Grease Patties (Pink)

How to Make
Grease Patties
Extender Patties

for Honey Bees

Some Background Facts...

Extender patties are made with Crisco, ordinary white table sugar and oxytetracycline (OTC). They are used to control American and European Foulbrood diseases in honeybees. 

Grease patties which are the same as  extender patties, except without OTC, suppress Tracheal Mites as do the extender patties.

There are several brands of OTCOxysol 62.5® is exactly equivalent to Pfizer TM-25.  Medivet's Oxysol 25S® has 55 mg/gram, and requires 13.4% more to do the same job. The first two make patties with a distinct pink colour, the latter brand makes a pale yellow patty.

The Recipe...

To make about 143 pounds of grease patties ( About 380 - 6oz patties) use

  • one 40kg bag of white granulated table sugar and

  • one 20 kg box of Crisco® vegetable shortening. 

If you are making OTC extender patties, then also use

  • about 4.05 kg (about 19 cups) of TM-25® or Oxysol 62.5®. 
    (If you use Medivet's Oxysol 25S®, then you will need to use about 21-1/2 cups.)

Cement Mixer and Boxes of Completed Grease Patties

Finished Patties in Boxes (~125/box).
Converted Cement Mixer in Foreground

Scooping the Grease Mixture into Patties

Scooping the Grease Mix onto
Pre-cut Waxed Paper

Mixing up The Patties...

The mix is made made in a 3.5 cubic foot cement mixer. To convert for patty making, the paddles are removed from the mixer and sometimes a stationary scraper bar is added. We built a bar, but removed it because we found it unnecessary and a nuisance.  When scraping is needed, a hand scraper is the best.

The drum must be clean when you start, and be left clean at the end of work. 

Run the mixer drum as close to horizontal as you can without the contents spilling out. 

Start with all the sugar, then add all the OTC, if used. Run the mixer until the colour is even throughout.

Initially, the sugar and OTC should mix, then the Crisco can be added in small chunks -- about a pound each -- over about ten minutes.

A ball will form and run around in the drum. It may be necessary to use a stick or scraper to loosen the ball from the sides and to scrape the sides so that the ball runs free.  When the ball is all one colour and has no lumps at all, it is ready to form into patties.

Forming The Patties...

The patties are made up using a trowel, spatula, scoop or hands on 'scale paper', 8" X 11" inch wax paper that comes pre-cut.  Each patty must be close to six ounces. A half ounce of variation over or under is OK.. The mixture is scooped onto a sheet of wax paper and the paper is then folded in half to enclose the patty. 

Be careful not to get grease on the outside of the paper, because the papers will all stick together when stacked in a box and make the patties difficult to handle.

Each patty must be formed into a single solid pancake about 1/2" thick so that they will not fall apart when handled.  The patty should not extend beyond its folded paper.

The patties are stacked into the wooden boxes provided until they are even with the top.  Do not overfill the boxes, since they must be stacked up.  If the patties are a little soft, then half fill some boxes and wait a day then fill them the rest of the way after the patties set up a bit.

Things to Keep in Mind...

OTC is an antibiotic dust and should not be inhaled or spread around the work area or on clothing more than necessary.  Wash your hands before eating or smoking.

OTC should not be heated or gotten damp.  Store at room temperature or cooler.  Check expiry date and use the oldest product first.

Keep the sugar bags in a dry place.  Sugar that has been wet and is caked together is useless for making patties.

Use only Crisco (r) shortening.  Other shortenings may be too hard or too runny.  Whatever is used must be 100% vegetable shortening.

The supplies must be at room temperature or they will not mix properly.

The shortening may seem hard at room temperature, but does not need to softened.  Do not heat it.  It quickly softens in the mixer and the whole mix becomes a soft slurry that is easy to work with.  It hardens a bit after it is made into patties.

Read these instructions over every day to make sure things are still being done correctly.

Call Allen at 1-

if there is anything that you do not understand or if you are thinking of any changes or improvements in the system.


Allen Dick 02/25/2014