Honey Tea Recipe for Building Up Nucs, Splits, Swarms, or Packages

bee on flower

bee on flower

Use this recipe to augment the growth of a colony to prolific rates to ensure that the colony can handle anything with small numbers of worker bees. Will make a quantity for two 1-quart servings.


Water (well or spring)

½ tsp. chamomile

½ tsp. yarrow

½ tsp. stinging nettle

½ tsp. peppermint

½ tsp. dandelion flowers (if available)

¼ tsp. sage

¼ tsp. hyssop

¼ tsp. thyme

¼ tsp. lemon balm

¼ tsp. Echinacea

1 pinch rue

4 cups good honey

In a ceramic or steel pot (not aluminum), bring 3 cups to a boil.

Take off stove and add herbs.

Let ingredients steep for 10 minutes, then strain through a cloth or fine colander. Add another 3 cups of cold water and let cool down till it is lukewarm.

Add honey and stir well.


Feed as often as the colony takes up the tea for about 2 weeks; longer in inclement weather, shorter if they have enough forage to gather in nature.

NOTE: Observation is very important. If the tea sits for days and is not taken by the bees, they either do not need it or the tea has turned sour. This can happen quickly in warm weather.


Devon Rowley
Devon Rowley
With a background in writing and biology, joining the Beepods team just seemed like the logical choice for Devon. Not having much experience with bees, she loves learning about the fascinating creatures while editing the content that her teammates write and researching for her own pieces. When she’s got some spare time, Devon enjoys reading and spending time with her beloved cats.

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