Yes, oft misquoted, the witches in Macbeth did say "double" rather than "bubble". But then lemongrass oil is too wholesome an ingredient for their recipe so we are not being entirely accurate ourselves.

In preparation for luring swarms onto scion, of which more posts are imminent, or into nucs we have recently made a batch of lure with a version of the recipe we found on beekeeper Linda Tillman’s site. It has been said that the most active ingredient is the lemongrass oil while the beeswax and olive oil mostly provide a slow-release vehicle for it. But the beeswax probably provides some welcoming-to-bees smells as well. Not sure what they will make of the olive oil.

  • 1/4 cup(59ml) of olive oil

  • 1/2 oz(15g) beeswax

  • Not in the original recipe, we added a similarly sized chunk of propolis for additional welcoming-to-bees smells.

  • 20 or more drops of lemongrass oil

  1. In a double boiler gently warm the oil and melt the wax(plus propolis) in it, stirring as needed. Since anything once used for melting wax becomes unusable for anything else, we did our warming and melting right in the jar, set upon a trivet in a water bath.

  2. Let it cool for just a few minutes. Cool too long and adding the lemongrass oil becomes impossible. In that case reheat and repeat.

  3. Stir in the lemongrass oil and leave to cool entirely. The result is a paste.

Ours was actually setting up harder than expected so we reheated and mixed in a little more oil.

Our other mistake may have been to make a triple batch since we found out later that the lemongrass oil supposedly loses effectiveness after a year but we wanted to be certain of having enough to impregnate the burlap we shall use for our scion.