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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    central, IL.
    Posts
    42

    Post

    hello, for some reason this year I seem to have a lot of ants around and inside my hives. what is a good way to get rid of them without harming my bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    eat'm... haven't you noticed that anything you eat seems to shirk in numbers...this is my strategy for dealing with the varoa mite also, but they are so small they hardly even make a crunch...ha....

    we have a lot of ants (fire ants) here in central texas. so I place all my hives up on stands that I weld up from recycled pipe. then I place a smear of axle grease about half way up the legs. elevating the hive also make working the hives much easier on my aging back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    For me the ants don't go inside the hives unless I'm feeding. So I quit doing that. decided to only feed to save a starving hive. With that criterion, I haven't fed since. They really don't usually need it.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    98

    Post

    beesandy,

    If you are having ant problems up inside of the inner cover, I have found stuffing it about half to three quarters full of green grass will rid the inner cover of ants. Don't ask me why it works, I just know it does. I just pull out about a half a dozen handfuls after I'm done with that hive, and stuff them in the space between the inner cover and Telescoping Lid (assuming you are doing hollow side up as you are supposed to). Works great.

    Jon D.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Schuyler,NE
    Posts
    116

    Post

    I had this problem a couple months ago and the ants killed off all my bee's I work fast, Either Elevate teh hive on a stand and then put bowls in the legs of the stand and put oil in the bowls to prevent anymore ants to get to your hive, brush off all excess bees in your hive, as much as possible, do this as soon as possible, I waited to long and they ants killed my bee's. I hope this helps you.
    LJC...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
    Posts
    488

    Post

    Is there scientific evidence that ants really kill hives? I have ants in many of my hives. I consider them to be a minor pest to the bees at worst. I have seen fire ants all over a hive, but I believe the hive was dieing anyway. I have heard fire ants may help control fire ants may help control SHB larve.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Post

    I find ants often and the bees seem to coexist fine with them. I agree that feeding seems to draw them more than anything. Borax, boric acid, Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate), or cinnamon all seem to drive them off without harming the bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Post

    It has been very dry here this summer (drought dry) and I have noticed more ant predation on my hives. I have had good luck keeping them in check using GardStar. Last year I had some problem with small hive beetles that I have seemed to get rid of them using GardStar, as I have no signs of them this year. Reading the label I noticed that GardStar also controls ants. I spray underneath the hive and about a foot around the hive and the ants stop bothering the bees. If you are using screened bottom boards shield the bees with the tray while you spray.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Eastbay, CA
    Posts
    203

    Post

    I have my hives on stands. I paint the legs with a mixture of Crisco, Canola oil and cinnamon that I have heated in the microwave.
    When the mixture cools it sets up. The ants do not seem to want to cross it.
    \"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree<br />And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made<br />nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee<br />and live alone in the bee-loud glade.\"<br />-- WB Yeats

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Murphy,

    Can you give us the percentages of crisco, canola and cinnamon in your concoction?

    I place my hive stands on concrete bricks and paint the bricks with used motor oil. Retouching it is messy, and whenever I see my bees on the brick, I wonder how many of them get affected by any residual oil. I like your method better.

    Thanks,
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Buckeye, AZ
    Posts
    48

    Post

    I have been fighting ants for two years now. I lost 4 hives to ants last year. What I am doing is placing my hives on cinderblocks, and the cinderblocks in disposable aluminum roasting pans (commercial size - available at Costco). I am filling the pans with used motor oil. Kind of a moat. This was suggested to me by two different bee keepers. I tried it on a NUC box at a different yard. I actually placed the pan right next to a fire ant hill to test it and after two weeks, still no ants.
    Thank you,<br /><br />Gregory

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Eastbay, CA
    Posts
    203

    Post

    Oyster,
    I just use 1 cup Crisco 1 cup Veg Oil and 3 tbl spoons of cinnamon. Then I microwave it. This makes quite a bit. What you don't use you can store in a microwaveable container. I then take a paintbrush and paint it on. When it cools it conjeals back to a crisco like substance. When I have ants this stops them. I am not sure why but it works for me. I renew when I start seeing ants.
    \"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree<br />And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made<br />nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee<br />and live alone in the bee-loud glade.\"<br />-- WB Yeats

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Catonsville, MD. USA
    Posts
    251

    Post

    Those dam ants are everywhere. I am speaking of those small ants called "pussy ants" during my childhood. However, the bees do seem to be able to co-exist with them IF the hive(s) are strong enough to defend against their onslaughts. I use a very handy thing called "tanglefoot" on my hivestand legs. It is a sticky aerosal that resists rain and therefore stays around for awhile. I have never lost a hive to those ants. And they do seem more numerous in the last few years that ever before. I think they will get worse before better.
    John Seets
    ...When seconds count, 911 is just minutes away....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    193

    Post

    &lt;Is there scientific evidence that ants really kill hives?&gt;

    Scientific I don't know but speaking from personal experience ants DO kill hives.

    &lt;I place all my hives up on stands that I weld up from recycled pipe. then I place a smear of axle grease about half way up the legs.&gt;

    Thats exactly what we do, the grease dosen't last for ever though, but it does stop the ants and the termites.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    133
    I used borax and baking soda to get rid of the carpenter ants that were attacking my hives. It worked! I also stopped feeding which helped, too.

    I put combat ant traps around my hives. All of these things together got rid of them.

    Ron
    Butterchurn<br /><br />Diplomacy is the art of saying \'Nice doggie\' until you can find a rock. <br /><br />Will Rogers

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    How did you apply the borax?
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    469

    Post

    A quick Google on formic+acid+ants gave many hits


    This one was short and informative.

    http://library.thinkquest.org/C007974/2_4ant.htm

    and then this

    http://www.wiskit.com/marilyn/anting.html


    If I have black ants on the top of the inner cover,and fomic acid fumes are heavier than air,would I get good varroa control?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Murphy,

    Thanks for the recipe.

    As far as Tanglefoot goes, it works until the dead ants that stick to it create a pathway over it. With persistant ants, the time it takes for this to happen is not very long.

    I also read that pure cinnanon forms a barrier that ants won't cross. That would work if the hive stand sits on blocks in a climate where it doesn't rain during the summmer months (such as where I live). When winter rains arrive, another method must be used.

    I just noticed this morning that ants are once again crawling up one of the hive stand's legs. I poured more motor oil on the blocks. It's strange how the bees just ignore the ants and go about their business as if they do not exist. With that kind of reaction, it doesn't seem like such a hive could exist for very long before the honey stores were wiped out.
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Eastbay, CA
    Posts
    203

    Post

    I have just tried tanglefoot on one of my hives. I wanted to see how it worked.
    Everything seems to only work for a short while. Ants are industrious little guys when they want something badly.
    By the way I am over in Walnut Creek.
    \"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree<br />And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made<br />nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee<br />and live alone in the bee-loud glade.\"<br />-- WB Yeats

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