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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield,VA
    Posts
    46

    Default Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    Hello all,

    We have been battling a colony of ants that has moved into the English garden top of our hive. We have sprinkled loads of cinnamon and also used some Vaseline but the ants are still in there.. We are thinking of using silicone caulking to seal up all the small cracks in the top. Has anyone done this? Was it helpful in keeping the ants out??

    I'm open to other ideas also!

    Here is a picture of the top (and the ants moving the eggs around)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/32834829@N03/6929344538/

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,111

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    It would seem that ants could use the bees entrance, so caulk seems unlikely to stop ants.

    But you can stop ants by isolating the support for the hive, unless you have ants that fly!

    If your hive (or stand) has legs, put those legs in a pan of water or oil. If it sits on blocks, devise an alternative method with short "legs". Perhaps use some short pieces of PVC pipe (say, 2-3" tall, standing on end) into 4 tuna cans on the blocks, then set the hive on the PVC. Of course, the PVC needs to be higher than the side of the tuna cans. Oil will evaporate much more slowly than water. I'd try cheap vegetable oil and see how that goes.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    In the photo, it just looks like the ants are hanging out in the top cover. Are they also exposed to the interior of the hive? In other words, if you just sealed up the gaps between the wood and copper on the cover, would the ants still be able to get in and out? If they have access to the hive itself, then caulk probably wouldn't help, but if they're just under the copper and not in the hive itself, then I don't see why a good caulking wouldn't help. If nothing else, caulk is cheap you can always give it a try and see what happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield,VA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    Yes, the ants are in the top cover.

    We have a top feeder which I guess is what has driven them up there.

    The hive sits on blocks and I can't change that.

    They are walking up the outside of the supers and going into the top cover.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bristol, Florida, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    I was having several ants going in my hives but noticed that when I made the yellow jacket traps with the soda bottles, cider vinegar, sugar water, and banana peels that it was soon filled with dead ants and they are not a problem at the moment.
    Gary

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,111

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    Here's some photos of one possible solution:
    http://beelievable.wordpress.com/201...-against-ants/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dent/Texas County, Missouri
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    I remember reading another thread here a while back on ant control.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...highlight=ants

    I can't remember all that was talked about but I have heard that ants will eat but can't digest corn meal. So you might try sprinkling corn meal on top of your inner cover. I also Borax can be sprinkled around your hive or made into a poison bait for the ants.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    berkley county, WV
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    If your stand is 2 blocks high, make a 1 to 1 solution of pine sol and water and spray it on the lower blocks. keep everything trimmed so there is nothing for them to "ladder" on. repeat about every 3 weeks. It has worked for me on several occasions.
    welcome to your new addiction!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,086

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    Caulk the cover? That's the bees job. That's whatr propolis is for. These ants do no real harm and don't bother the bees. Leave them alone or toss them out each time you go into your hive.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,406

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    If your colony is strong they should be able to keep the ants out of the inside of the hive and control them. But if you would like them gone, then eliminate their nesting area.

    Remove the English top and inner cover, and replace it with a plain flat plywood top for a while. Let the ants settle in somewhere else rather than the top of your hive. When you figure out where they have nested you can then deal with them using whatever means you are comfortable with, and then replace your English top.
    To everything there is a season....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield,VA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    Thanks everyone!

    I am happy to report that sealing up all the openings in the English top did the trick. We have been ant-free for a week.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Silicone caulking to keep ants out??

    Mom,
    I suppose you are disenchanted with the advice here on the forums. What most of the advisors missed was that the ant COLONY is located it the hive attic - not somewhere else in the ground.

    Don't get cocky yet. Ants, like bees can chew away softer materials. If the caulking you used dries to a jelly-like cure, the ants may chew their way out.
    Walt

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