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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Post

    This morning I was pulling trays to see what kind of Varroa count I was getting ( I’m treating with formic acid) and noticed that a small variety of ant was hauling away the varroa that was dropping into the tray. So I started to look for this behavior in the other hives I was checking and noticed the same thing. I guess the ants can’t pass up a easy meal, I will just mark it down as part of my integrated pest management. And hope they don’t look up for food when the varroa run out.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    229

    Post

    Yes, I haven't considered ants as bad beehive pests either, at least not in these northern climates. There is probably a mutually beneficial relationship between ants and bees which may include carting off mites. The mites are probably like hard shelled crabs to the ants - mighty tasty.

    Also the burn from an ant bite comes from formic acid. When you drop a hankerchief onto an ant hill and leave it there for a couple minutes you can smell the formic acid on it after you shake off the ants of course. So, maybe they also like the scent of their own perfume/venom after a formic acid treatment.
    5-8 hives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
    Posts
    638

    Post

    They love hive beatle and wax moth larva also.
    Clear Lake Wi. / Sebring Fl.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Look, don't fool yourselves. Those ants would kill and eat your entire hive if the bees didn't stop them. Have you seen them eating dead bees? This is not a symbiotic relationship.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    124

    Post

    Really? I never knew that ants would eat bees...I'll have to sit out and watch sometime. Is this a common thing?
    Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    If they will eat wax moth larva, they will eat bee larva.

    Ants and bees are not buddies in my observation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Amanda, there are all kinds of ants and all kinds of bees. So it's not an absolute where I can point to an ant and say he will eat that bee. but we're on the bee's side so YES, Ants eat Bees. Unfortunately someone's going to come on here and say wisely that carpenter ants only eat wood or some such drivel and I won't get back in time to answer so just trust me.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    Hawk, all they need to do is make an inner lid without a hole in it and they will see how fast an ant queen will build above it and wipe out a hive. I met a man 2 years ago with five hives covered with ants when you opened them. He said they were his worst problem, even worse then mites. He said he lost a hive or two to them every year.I convinced him to cut center holes in his inner lids and this year he has so few ants that he doesn't even regard them as a problem, and has NO nests above the inner lids now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    i had a wonderfully strong hive succumb to ant pressure this year-after a long mutual battle the hive absconded. ants in the sacramento valley
    can be devastating! its definately not like that everywere, here at my knew place theres ants but not like were i came from.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    So iddee, YOU invented the inner cover...

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    124

    Post

    Why does the hole in the cover make such a difference? Are the bees made aware of the ants by that hole being there?
    Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    It's the only way the bees can get above the inner cover. If you just use a piece of plywood they can't get to the ants.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    NO, I invented the innerne[S]t. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Post

    I often find those little ants living between a cover or inner cover or a rock and the inner cover or the outer cover and the top bars on a TBH or the space on the end bars where the bees can't get on a DE hive. They have never been a problem. The bees don't seem to care. I'm sure the kind of ant and where you live etc. makes a difference, but unless I see them having trouble I don't worry about the ants.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Post

    I put the hole in my inner covers for ventilation, the fact that the bees can protect the hive in the attic is just a bonus. I didn’t mean to imply that honeybees and ants have a symbiotic relationship, I usually treat with Guard Star if they seem to be molesting the bees to much. The bonus with Guard Star is you can treat for SHB and it also works well for ants.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  16. #16

    Post

    Ants eat everything they can find. They eat varroa instead of honey, like the dogs eat bone when can´t eat meat. Ants are dangerous and stress for bees, and are waiting for the moment to invade the hive.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Post

    merops_apiaster

    Where is Cadiz?
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Google tells me there is a Cadiz in southern Spain.

  19. #19

    Post

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/b...5112931451.jpg
    Right! Thanks Sundance. Cádiz is in southern Europe and in Northern Africa, between Mediterranean sea and Atlantic Ocean. I live exactly near of the cape of Trafalgar, that you can enjoy in the photo.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Post

    Been to the Strait of Gibralter and Barcelona I loved it, some day I would like to visit again.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

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