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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Are ants a problem? (and what about paper wasps?)

    (I considered posting this in the Beekeeping 101 section, but Diseases and Pests seemed more appropriate.)

    One of the locations that I am contemplating for my first hives typically contains a few large ant hills during the summer. In the few years that we have lived here, they have always been "formica ants" - the usual black and/or red ants that build large, loose mounds of dirt for their nests. They seem fairly harmless... but, then again, I'm not a fellow insect.

    So, are these mundane ants a threat to any bees that I would place in the area? Would they steal the honey? Would the bees let them? I know that some types of ants can be problematic... but what about these common, every-day ants?

    Also, we typically have a fair amount of "paper wasps" and bumble bees on our property. Not really in the area that the hives will likely be located, but within a quarter mile or so. Are those going to be a problem?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Are ants a problem? (and what about paper wasps?)

    Ants are typically scavengers. I've never had ants bother a healthy hive. If you are feeding your hive sugar syrup, the ants will join in on the feast but that's pretty much all. I've even had ant hills against the concrete blocks that a hive stood on....and no problem.
    Same for bumble bees or paper wasps...no problem.
    Hornets will occasionally 'harvest' a few bees but not enough to matter...unless you happen to be the bee harvested.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,359

    Default Re: Are ants a problem? (and what about paper wasps?)

    In California we have Argentine ants that will destroy a nuc or a small colony in a matter of days. They're tiny little black ants but there are millions of them that descend at once. Nothing worked on them until I placed grease traps on the legs of my hive stands. That stopped them dead in their tracks.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...oof+hive+stand
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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