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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Onslow County, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Top Hive Feeder vs Ants

    I want/need to feed my bees and I really like the FBM feeders. The potential problem is Ants. I have ants that eat the carcasses of the few dead bees around the hive. However, if I start placing sugar water in my hives will that create a potentially disastrous situation for my bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Southern Virginia
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Top Hive Feeder vs Ants

    I battled the same fear as you...saw tons of black and red ants and ant hills all around the ground near my hives and worried that they would take over...

    short answer, if the hive is healthy and populous, they will keep ants out of the hive. An ant or two may sneak in under the top cover but not an invasion.

    the ants are helpful by cleaning up the dead bees!
    Zone 7a

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Onslow County, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Top Hive Feeder vs Ants

    Quote Originally Posted by phyber View Post
    I battled the same fear as you...saw tons of black and red ants and ant hills all around the ground near my hives and worried that they would take over...

    short answer, if the hive is healthy and populous, they will keep ants out of the hive. An ant or two may sneak in under the top cover but not an invasion.

    the ants are helpful by cleaning up the dead bees!
    I see your point ... but a couple of my hives are recently transplanted 5 frame nuc swarm traps that have yet to draw out a full 10 frames. Do you thin they will be strong enough?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Southern Virginia
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Top Hive Feeder vs Ants

    I'd guess as long as there's enough bees to cover the interior of the hive (no spots where invaders could hide) then yes. Also likely in a few days/weeks you'll have some new bees emerging to up the ranks.
    Zone 7a

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Top Hive Feeder vs Ants

    I guess it depends on the type of ants. I have very tiny black ants that will over take a hive and make it abscond. These ants go after protein as well as carbohydrates.
    "A good day is when no one shows up and you don't have to go anywhere." - Burt Shavitz (Burt's Buzz)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Onslow County, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Top Hive Feeder vs Ants

    Well, I use foundationless frames so the bees only cover what they have built. As far as types of ants ... we have copious amounts of fire ants, but I'm confidant that they're not fire ants. I think I'll just build a test feeder and place it in my strong hive an monitor what transpires. :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,632

    Default Re: Top Hive Feeder vs Ants

    Even with fire ants, when I use hive top feeders, the ants go up the outside of the hive and into the feeder. Usually a lot drown in the syrup and I have to clean it out but they don't try to get into the hive itself.
    "Sometimes the best action is no action at all."

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