Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Powder Springs, GA
    Posts
    43

    Big Grin Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    First, my apologies and disclaimers:
    1.) I'm new at this; I picked up my first two nucs about three weeks ago.
    2.) I know there is already a LOT of posts on here about ants, but none I found that answer my exact questions. (Maybe I just have stupid questions

    About a week after I out my hives in, I started seeing one or two large black carpenter ants on the outside of the hives. I was not concerned, as they rarely went for the entrance, and when they did, the bees chased them off.
    So, when deciding how to feed them, I chose not to feed them sugar water directly in or from the hive. Both of my hives are about 10' away from an old tree house. I hung a half gallon gravity feeder under this tree house with a bungee cord, to help keep the rain from washing it away. It took the bees a week to find it, but after they did, they of course use it often. After three weeks though, the carpenter ants finally found it as well yesterday. They have taken it over with a vengence. By the time I left them last night, the ants were attacking any bees that tried to land on the feeder. (It was really ticking the bees off). I did make a small jar of sugar water and boric acid and set it at the base of the tree house where I saw the ants climbing, and make sure the make the entrance only large enough for the ants. (I tried cinnamon and vaseline; they laughed). I can't trace them to their home and kill them with boiling water, as there is a half acre brush pile within a few feet that contains 50 years of wood and brush dumping.
    So, here comes my stupid questions:
    1.) If I move or remove that feeder tonight, is there a concern that these now bold ants will turn 10' away and take over my hives?
    2.) Since they are not currently taking over the hives and are occupied with the feeder, should I just left them have it and let the bees fight them for it, and be glad they are not in my hives?
    3.) Or, does leaving this feeder here only leave my open to drawing so many of these in that they do eventually take over the hives as well?
    4.) Should I just slowly continue trying to carefully poisen the ants and be patient, or is there something I should do immediately?

    (I understand all of these questions can't really be answered, but any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    Quote Originally Posted by JustFed1 View Post
    I chose not to feed them sugar water directly in or from the hive.
    Why?

    Open feeding, while easy, has drawbacks that you need to consider.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,409

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    Try using fishing line to hang the feeder. My feeders are inside the hive, but I'd be surprised if those ants can grip monofilament line.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Powder Springs, GA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    Keth- I guess my thinking was that since there were already a few of these ants crawling on the outside of the hive, putting sugar in or on top or at the entrance would only give them more reason to invade. Am I off in your thinking?

    Rader Sidetrack- I think I may try the fishing line this evening. I thought of using that originally, but only had 4LB line. I used a wide flat ruber bungee instead. I did try coating that with vaseline yesterday. It kept them from going down in for about 5 minutes, but once one got brave enough and made it through, the rest of them followed suit.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,069

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    Amdro ant bait on the ground. Buy a Lowes or HD.

    Carpenter ants often forage 100 yards from their nest. One more reason not to start open feeding.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Powder Springs, GA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    Ok...so it seems so far that the general opinion is that top feeding is better. I'm here to learn and I appreciate the feedback already. Let me tell you what I was thinking though...so you guys can tell me in your opinion why my thinking is wrong). Other than a dead bee or a little propolis, I figure the random ant that makes it past the guard bees is not going to find enough to bring in the troops for. If they actually had a sugar/water supply though in the top of my hives, I was thinking this would change and they would take over my hive and attack the bees like they are in the feeder.
    Maybe I'm not giving the bees enough credit for their protective capabilities of their hive?
    I've seen a lot of top/inside feeders. Given the tendency I'm already facing to have an ant problem, can anyone suggest what they would think to bethe safest inside/top feeder method to use?

    Thanks so much!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brandon, Florida
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    I had over two years four hives killed out by the carpenter, bull, very large ants. If you are seeing any of these ants there is a larger nest some where and most likely satellite nest from the main nest that has the queen.

    They will scout out the bee hive for a while then late at night come in mass and go into the hive and cut the wings off all the bees. Then there is nothing to brother the ants as they eat what ever they eat.

    The only thing I have found to control the carpenter ants is a liquid ant bait. Andros is great for fire ants but the carpenter ants laugh at it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hermon, ME
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    Quote Originally Posted by HTC View Post
    The only thing I have found to control the carpenter ants is a liquid ant bait.
    I have had carpenter ant problems but I have had little luck in controlling them. What liquid ant bait did you use that worked?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    Best thing to do if you want to feed outside is place the feeder in a container of water or oil--like a cookie sheet on the ground. This will keep them out if not dry or filled w/ debris. To make the vasoline work spray w/ oil--but you have to do it once a week--that's how I prevented ants last year. This year I made stands w/ legs that are in plastic containers filled w/ water. Sometimes I just wipe oil on the outside instead of filling when the bees are busy--sometimes drown in the cups. W/ the oil I apply every week or after big rains. Water fill as needed and clean out debris that could make a bridge. Works like a charm. Going to try tangle foot on my new lang since the stand legs are away from the hive (so bees shouldn't get stuck). Again, once clogged w/ dirt it will be useless (just don't know how long that will take).

    Problem w/ baits is that you have to get a high enough dose delivered to the queen. To do this you have to feed as much as they will take and limit other food sources (they will dilute the active ingredient). You have to continue to do this until they stop taking it. Most folks put out one bait and complain that it didn't work because the ants were eating other things as well and moved on when the bait was gone. I think exclusion is easier to deal w/ as another colony will move in and forage the vacated area.

    In terms of what the ants will find in your hive, there is plenty of un-capped honey they to find. Once they do they'll be there like bandits--especially in the fall/winter when temps allow. In other words, having a feeder inside will not increase the chance they find your hive but they might have easier access, thus discovering it quicker. By the way, where you place the feeder away from the hive will have no effect on how fast they find the hive--unless it is at the front entrance. This spring I even had ants move brood under the top of my hive because of the warmth--so I put my new stands out earlier than I expected.

    Hope this helps. Wanted to be a myrmecologist when I was young (ant scientist) but life happened--funny how kids change things.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brandon, Florida
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    The liquid bait is: First let me say I keep walking by it in the ACE hardware and keep thinking who would pay that much.

    Well I had tried all the stuff in the hardware and was desperate.

    There is a space ship looking gravity type feeder that can be refilled. Looking at the bottle the company is Innovative Pest Control Products out of BocaRaton Florida, That is where all the overpriced stuff comes from most of the time if something is from there I walk away. The active ingredient is disodium octaborate tetrahydrate at one percent. the rest is honeydew, ya right, my guess is sugar water.

    But what the heck it seems to keep them knocked down. And do a web search the active ingredient can be bought under other names.

    Make sure the bees can not get at it. Wait tell you see an ants muscles go crazy and come off the floor straight up two to three inches.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Carpenter ants getting into feeder...

    Most Borate based baits work well if you keep at it and keep it well supplied. My guess w/ this is it allows a good quantity to be put out so they don't run out in 2 hrs. For carpenter ants I'm not sure, though. They tend to be more omnivorous than the commonly known "sugar ants" and I have never tried to rid them w/ a sugar bait. At least w/ carpenter ants any hive built tight enough to keep out the yellow jackets in the fall should work to keep out the carpenter ants (getting under the hive top into the top feeder might be different.

    Feed from a frame feeder instead?

    Quote Originally Posted by HTC View Post
    Make sure the bees can not get at it. Wait tell you see an ants muscles go crazy and come off the floor straight up two to three inches.
    Anyway, if you see this then my guess is you are not dealing w/ the stated active ingredient (borate is a desiccant and acts slowly). Maybe there IS some special honey dew solution in there!

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads