Grease Patties   Grease Patties  Grease Patties  Grease Patties  Grease Patties   Grease Patties 

Grease Patties
 for Suppression  of Tracheal Mites
 Extender Patties
for Medication of Honey Bee Colonies against AFB and EFB

View a Printable Version of this page

Click here for a simple, printable instruction sheet

Click to Enlarge

Feeding Pollen Patties (Brown) and Grease Patties (Pink)

PE03334A.gif (1605 bytes)
Making Extender Patties

Background: Extender patties are popular for controlling American and European Foulbrood diseases in honeybees.  Grease patties  -- extender patties, except without drugs -- are recommended for suppressing Tracheal Mite buildup, as are extender patties. In the case of the extender patty, the grease serves also to keep the drug dry. Since Terramycin (TM) degrades quickly once wet, this application method has the advantage of ensuring that the drug maintains activity until the bees encounter it. Click here for a description of the sucess of using grease patties for AFB suppression.

Important: The grease/sugar format is purposly chosen to be unattractive to the bees, and is therefore removed slowly by the bees, extending Terramycin® treatment over weeks and also keeping a vegetable oil presence in the hive over time.

Warnings: These patties must be placed inside the cluster near the brood  or they will be ignored. Therefore, patties must go on the top bars above the brood in single hives, or on the top bars of the lower box  in double brood chamber hives if the bees are raising brood below. Patties must not be used while honey is being stored for human consumption or while pollen trapping.

History:  Bill Wilson's original formula requires two tablespoons (30 ml) of TM 25® per one pound of mix (1/3 lb. vegetable shortening and 2/3 lb. granulated sugar) to make two ½ pound patties that should last about 6 weeks. These ½ pound patties each would each contain about 844-mg active ingredient. Over 6 weeks this releases about 140 grams per week.

Using Alternate Tetracycline Products: Oxysol 62.5® is equivalent to TM-25. The former has 62.5 mg of active ingredient per gram of product; the latter has 25 g per 400 g, which comes out the same. Medivet's Oxysol 25S® has 55 mg/gram, and thus requires 13.4% more to do the same job. The first two make patties with a distinct pink colour, the latter makes a pale yellow patty.

Therefore a 150 pound batch (1- 40kg bag of sugar and 1-20 kg box of Crisco® vegetable shortening) includes about 4.05 kg (~19 cups) of TM-25® or Oxysol 62.5®. Add about 13.5% more if you use Medivet's Oxysol 25S®.

Large Colonies will Remove the Patties More Quickly, while small colonies may take longer, so the dosage is somewhat self-adjusting over time. Some beekeepers just take a pail of the mix to the yard and trowel some onto each hive, judging dosage by the colony strength. This method makes the patty material harder to move if it is not consumed by the time that frame manipulations begin, but may save on material and application time.

For Spring Use: 1/3 pound or 1/4 pound patties are preferred by some beekeepers due to slower removal by spring colonies. For smaller patties, increase the amount of TM used and maintain the other ingredients constant. Ie: for 1/4 pound patties, double the TM; for 1/3 pound patties, increase TM by ½. About 800-1000 mg of active ingredient per patty lasting six weeks is the goal.

Click to Enlarge Bees Consuming Patties

Bees Consuming Pollen Patties & Grease Extender Patties

Mixing The Patty Material: The mix is made made in bulk quantities using converted 3.5 cubic foot cement mixers. To convert for patty making, the paddles are removed and sometimes a stationary scraper bar is added. The mixture is a soft slurry at room temperature and can be squashed to fit under a hive lid, but sets a bit over time and in colder environments.

The actual patties are made up using a trowel, spatula, scoop or hands on 'scale paper', 8" X 11" inch wax paper that comes pre-cut from paper or butcher supply houses. One brand is made by McNairn in Whitby Ont. The paper is doubled over, and the patty is then easy to handle.

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

Download a text version of this article
Useful Measures:

16 tablespoons = 1 cup

1 cup = 236 ml

1 tablespoon = 15 ml

If you go by weight:

500 mililitres (1/2 litre) of Oxysol 62.5 weigh about 450 grams. Therefore 15 ml of Oxysol 62.5 weighs 13.5 grams

View a Printable Version of this page

Click here for a simple, printable instruction sheet

Download an Excel Calculator Spreadsheet

Download  a working
Extender Patty
Calculator Spreadsheet
for MSExcel 2000
or for MSExcel 4.0

The sheet below compares sugar dusting with extender patties
and calculates their relative costs.


Disclaimer:  This material was prepared for our own use, and, while we believe it to be accurate, readers should exercise discretion and verify the information for themselves, as well as verify the legality and appropriateness of this treatment in their own jurisdiction.


Go to Pollen Patty Info Page

View a Printable Version of this page

Click here for a simple, printable instruction sheet


Contact allen dick