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Thread: Ants!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Phoenix, OR
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    38

    Default Ants!

    Got the hive in place awaiting some bees. In the mean time a bunch of little black ants have decided to move in. The frames have some old wax and such on them and the little buggers love it.

    I heard that you can use cinnamon around the hive to keep the ants out. Not sure if that is true or not. Is there a way to drive off the ants and keep them out of the hive? Or will the bees take care of business once I get some in the hive? Or will the presence of ants discourage bees from settling into the hive?

    In my home I make a solution of sugar water and borax to kill the ants, but doubt that would be wise around the hive. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Pilot Hill, Northern CA.
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    809

    Default Re: Ants!

    If the ants get too bad around one of my hives I draw a bead of grease (used for my tractor FEL normally) around the base of the hive. Ants hate greasy feet.
    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    www.goldfinch-acres.com

  3. #3
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    Jul 2010
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    Columbia, Missouri, usa
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    Default Re: Ants!

    I feed the ants sugar water with borax in a catfood can under the hive. I also place something over the can to keep it in the dark and hopefully the bees away. - like a 12 x 12 piece of plywood. Have not lost any bees in the last two summers, but I keep an eye on the can just in case the bees should find it.
    I also made a hive stand with 1/2 iron pipe legs. I then set the legs in catfood cans and fill with water. Works good.
    Charlie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Litchfield, CT, USA
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    415

    Default Re: Ants!

    cans of water or oil work good but it is not real feasible when you have many hives. A strong hive will usually keep ants at bay. I have never tried the cinnamon trick. I like it on my French toast though!
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC
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    2

    Default Re: Ants!

    Does anyone know if bees dislike the cinnamon or not?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Phoenix, OR
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    38

    Default Re: Ants!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jnhoutz157 View Post
    Does anyone know if bees dislike the cinnamon or not?
    Put a swarm in the hive on Monday. The bees do not care about the cinnamon. They just ignore it and fly around.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Ants!

    FYI to any who find this thread & live in RIFA (Red Imported Fire Ant) territory (pretty much anywhere S of the Mason-Dixon line), fire ants couldn't care less about the cinnamon, so don't waste your spice

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Floresville,Texas,USA
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    8

    Default Re: Ants!

    I too have ants(little sugar ants) they dont seem to bother the bees, but they get into the comb,hony, and feeders. Troutsqeezer=was that grease or oil-that you circle the hive with??

  9. #9
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    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,686

    Default Re: Ants!

    I find ortho home defense max the most reliable personally, I try not to spray where bees will be landing but I tried it all, grease, cinnamon, diatomaceous earth, borax liquid baits, and it was all a waste of time, effort and money.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2012
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Ants!

    Quote Originally Posted by Picosa Creek Apiary View Post
    was that grease or oil-that you circle the hive with??
    Either will work, personally I use grease on each leg of the hive stand; the BIG thing with using any physicall barrier (such as oil or grease) is that you MUST keep any and all weeds from touching the hive(s) or stand(s) past the barrier, or the ants will simply use the weeds as a "bridge" and defeat your barrier.

  11. #11
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    Apr 2013
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    Floresville,Texas,USA
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    Default Re: Ants!

    Thank you robherc. Will try both.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2013
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    south central ohio
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    Default Re: Ants!

    Being a certified arborist and professional climber along with living in logging country I've taken many hives from trees and I can't ever remember an instance when the hive didn't have an ant nest just above or below it. Lots had them both in the same cavity. I guess I said all that to say that I don't worry about ants in the least. 'Course I don't have RIFA either...

  13. #13
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    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    Default Re: Ants!

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    FYI to any who find this thread & live in RIFA (Red Imported Fire Ant) territory (pretty much anywhere S of the Mason-Dixon line), fire ants couldn't care less about the cinnamon, so don't waste your spice
    Ah, but the OP was asking about the little black ants...not fire ants. I've used cinnamon to dissuade the little black ants and I detected a definite decrease in activity and presence of those ants. Maybe it was something else or just "their time" to leave, but... Since then I've just started using boric acid traps beneath the hives. If for some reason the little black ants appeared again on the inner cover I wouldn't hesitant to sprinkle cinnamon.

    I think the boric acid bait works better, though.

    Ed

  14. #14
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    Jan 2010
    Location
    Edgemont, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: Ants!

    I live with a sandy river side soil and have sprinkled cinnamon around the inner covers of hives with ants and it does reduce their presence. I keep a small shaker full in the yard box so its always available. The bees don't mind it a bit. I have done experiments by putting cinnamon around sugar on the counter and the ants just circle it, you can tell they don't like it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Columbia, Missouri, usa
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    202

    Default Re: Ants!

    I also use cinnamon around the jars of 1:1 on my hive tops. Stops the big black ants.
    Charlie

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    128

    Default Re: Ants!

    I was just reading a paper that said that ants are effective in killing SHB larvae that pupate in the soil. The life cycle of the SHB requires it to be in the ground in a relatively small radius around the hive. If there is a way of encouraging the ants to take up residence around the hives but not in them, it would be a great natural weapon in fighting beetles.

  17. #17
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    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    Default Re: Ants!

    Eric, ants will probably help with the beetle larvae, but not enough to matter. The beetle pupa doesn't require close proximity to a bee hive to mature...actually the entire life cycle can be carried out and repeated far, far away from a bee hive. They eat things other that bee products. A great breeding ground for them are melon fields...water melons, musk melons, cantalopes, etc.,. If a larva falls to the ground from your hive your colony is pretty much already doomed. When a larva hits the ground it has already slimed your hive. I would *not* encourage ants to take up residence around my hives though a few ants scavenging the ground in front of the entrance or beneath a screened bottom board is good.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Baytown, TX., USA.
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    Default Re: Ants!

    One hive sits on a bottom board sized platform (1/2 inch plywood) that has four 4 inch legs. The legs (treated 2x2 glued and nailed) sit in small bowls then on concrete building blocks, the hive stand. I use murky water (so the bees can see it) in the bowls and still lose an occasional bee. Presto, ants gone. Bees drink out of many pots, bird baths, swim pools,,, they know how to navigate to get water, just put some dirt in it! Just use rough edged pots!
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Madison County, AL (USA)
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    9

    Default Re: Ants!

    I've found baby powder to work okay. Just sprinkle it around the hive. It's cheaper than cinammon.

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