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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Tucson, Arizona, USA

    Default Weak hives Absconding

    A few days ago, I observed that my two weakest hives (less than five medium frames of bees) appeared to have been driven off by fire ants determined to eat their brood. One was vacant, except the brood already half eaten by fire ants. The other colony was still clustered on the outside front corner adjacent to their entrance and the fire ants were busy eating their brood, too.

    I immediately pulled a frame of brood and young bees from one of the strongest colonies, placed it in a super, and brushed all the clustered bees from the besieged colony into the box with the frame of brood in all stages - then added frames of pollen and honey to make up the difference. The queen was with them. The next morning there were only a few bees still covering the brood - which I quickly returned to a stronger colony for better care.

    Immediately after discovering the ant situation I had spread ant poison on the ground around the hives, and this did suppress the ants.

    I cleaned the bottom board and emptied the super that was now empty and returned it to its original position (now without ants). I placed six partially drawn combs into the 8-frame super and didn't even place a cover on this super. That was yesterday - this morning, to my surprise, I glanced at this box of empty combs as I was passing it, and discovered that it was again occupied by the same queen and bees that had absconded from it two days before. I gave them a cover and plan to boost them with a frame or two of brood from one of the stronger hives, tomorrow, if they're still there.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Seneca, sc

    Default Re: Weak hives Absconding

    I have fire ants in most of my yards in the summer. They do not bother my hives as a rule. I kill all mounds within 25 feet of the boxes. You can set honey super after the bees have cleaned them up on a pallet over a fire ant mound and you will not have SHB's or Wax moths in the supers. Stack them so air and sun can get in covered with a piece of plywood on top. After it freezes in fall you can move them inside.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Edwards, Ms, USA

    Default Re: Weak hives Absconding

    I also never had problems with fire ants. I will kill a mound if its touching the pallet that my hive is on. Other than that I clean out frames with them. Placing a piece of tin down to the side of the ant pile. They clean beetle maggots, slime, mites, and dead brood quickly. Usually I can check the rest of the hives and set back in hive after nocking the ants off.


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