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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    108

    Default My Bees vs ANTS!!!

    Well I asked a question about using cinnamon to keep ants out of my hives. I was afraid if I "sprinkled" it on the inner cover I might accidently dump it in the hive and wasn't sure what that might do. In addition they will get in other places besides the top. I don't know the proper name for the type of ant, the nicer name is "sugar ant" and they are small. As oppose to the big "carpenter ant" or the very aggressive "fire ant". I was given some good advice and it made me rethink my problem. So, I just wanted to share what is going on with my bees and the ants.

    This is my beehive stand. I built it to be movable (it turned out to be a good thing, I built it last year and had to move the whole thing this year).
    http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/...ps57136dd6.jpg


    You can't see it really well (the grass needs weedeating and I had to use my phone for the pictures) but, it rests on two 4X4's that each sit on a 2X6. So the ants have several places to get on it, plus the tall grass. I kept thinking "how can I keep the ants off the hive stand?", especially since it doesn't really have legs. I was starting to consider just nuking the ground all under and around the stand. On our farm (see link in my signature if you really want to know) we are trying to use sustainable techniques and "nuking" wouldn't go along with that. One of the suggestions I got was to use sticks at each corner of the hive. Well i tried this and it didn't work to well (see below)
    http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/...pse7ca96d8.jpg

    The ants just went right over the cinnamon sticks. But, this led me down a new way to think about the problem. I don't have to keep the ants off the hive stand just the hives! So, this morning I gathered some materials.
    http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/...ps1e7e0cd0.jpg

    And now I have this
    http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/...psd0f4be20.jpg

    I really need to charge the battery in my camera. But, its a stack of 8 pennies, wrapped in some tape, and then coat with fishing reel lube (ok that was what I could lay my hands on this morning, I will most likely come back with some high temp grease). Well I'm crossing my fingers to see how this one works out.

    Oh here are some of my other hives being slowly moved across the yard (the hive on the stand I bought as a nuc this year).
    http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/...ps409d4b1e.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    350

    Default Re: My Bees vs ANTS!!!

    A grease barrier is the only thing that's really worked for me. I tried cinnamon, diatomaceous earth, and borax with no real effect. Finally built a stand with pipe for legs and coated them with grease - problem solved.

    I have to re-coat every month or two and watch for grass growing around the hives, but otherwise it's been great.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,839

    Default Re: My Bees vs ANTS!!!

    Using weed guard landscaping fabrics around your hive stand
    will suppress the weeds for a season or two. Put wood chips
    on top of the weed guard is even better after laying a piece of
    plastic underneath. Think of anything that can mulch the grass
    down will work too. This way the ants cannot climb up the tall
    grasses. I use hi-temp grease that so far deter the ants. Going
    to improve on it with a piece of aluminum on top of the stand.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: My Bees vs ANTS!!!

    I have landscaping fabric along the front so that the lawnmower can make one pass between the hive stand and the fence (the mower outlet goes over the landscaping fabric). But, instead of mulch I put down river rocks. I'm thinking about this all the way around to avoid weeds (and to keep my buddy who mows my grass from hitting the hive stand...again).

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