[Science] Thymol for Almonds

I saw a post by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) yesterday about using Thymol to enhance fungicide treatments on Almond trees.  http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2011/110428.htm  Thymol is an extract from the plant Thyme and is used commonly by Beekeepers to treat for the mite, Varroa Destructor.  Now the idea with the Thymol and Almond tree treatments is that the two can be combined for a stronger effect.  Some initial research seems to indicate that it may help in reducing the fungicide required by about 1/2.

I see this as having two potential benefits to Beekeepers, one real and one imaginary.  If the Thymol enhancement is successful and truly reduces the amount of fungicide treatment an Almond tree needs, this is EXCELLENT news for Beekeepers because it will reduce, by 1/2, the amount of exposure to those fungicides that the bees may currently be getting.  I don't know when the fungicide treatment happens for Almond trees and how much residual is around when the bees go to California for pollination, but whatever it may be (and it may not be much at all) it will be potentially 1/2 as much as before.  It's possible that this enhancement may work for fungicide treatment on other trees and plants as well.

Imagine if the Almond pollinators are additionally exposed to Thymol on the Almond trees now.  Maybe Beekeepers will save themselves a lot of mite treatment costs if every tree is a mite killing machine!  ;-)


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