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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default New Beekeeper - Is this a sign of a problem?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm a new beekeeper in San Francisco and have had my hive for about 4 weeks. I checked the hive this weekend and saw three things that worry me - are these a sign of larger issues?

    • Lots of small black ants eating from the hive-top feeder (but not interested in anything stored on the frames, yet)
    • 1x small black beetle (about 1/3 the size of a bee)
    • 1x earwig hiding in the corner of the outer cover


    I moved these bees into my 8-frame hive from a nuc; they're only using 3 or 4 of the frames - so it's still a small colony. Should I be concerned?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: New Beekeeper - Is this a sign of a problem?

    I would definitely ant proof the bee hive stand and keep the ants off as I'm sure it can cause stress to a small colony.
    Black beetle is most likely a small hive beetle. Shouldn't be of any concern at the moment. All hives will have them. As long as they aren't in great numbers.
    Plus in SF, they shouldn't thrive like in hotter areas say like Florida.
    Earwig, not an issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Folsom, LA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: New Beekeeper - Is this a sign of a problem?

    Those small black ants like to live inbetween the telescopic cover and the inner cover. I have gone to all migratory covers. Cheaper, can prop up for top entrance and ventalation, and no critters living inbetween the two covers.
    You can just throw out the inner cover if you want. The ants will have a difficult time after that.
    If you are already using migratory covers, then I have no idea whats going on!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,207

    Default Re: New Beekeeper - Is this a sign of a problem?

    I wouldn't be "worried" about the ants. I've had ants and spiders living in my hives since I started beekeeping. If you can find a way to prevent them, great.

    As for the other two, I have zero experience. I'd be more concerned with the varroa mites that are inevitably lurking in there somewhere...
    Let's BEE friends

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: New Beekeeper - Is this a sign of a problem?

    Thanks for the help. I'll see what I can do about the ants this weekend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,766

    Default Re: New Beekeeper - Is this a sign of a problem?

    There are some very creative antproofing strategies on here. They don't do well crossing water or climbing greased poles. Usually....
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

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