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Thread: Ant control

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Pendleton,Oregon USA
    Posts
    22

    Question Ant control

    My question as a new beek is two part or more. I have a lot of ants where I want to put my hives, at a seminar I talked to the pro and he said to put my hives as close to the ground as I could. I am in zone 7a by USDA, he was fearful of the cold. My question is could I put my hives on a short stand with legs into a container and maybe put oil into them forming a moat to keep the ants out? Or will any rise contribute to the freezing of hive. I see others in the area raised, all options are welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fremont County, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Ant control

    I don't believe the hive's proximity to the ground really affects winter survival rates. A wind break is much more important IMO. As close to the ground as possible means you have to keep up with grass and weeds that may block the entrance (unless you plan to use a top entrance). I would build your stand 8 or 10" off the ground. I arrange mine so the brood boxes are a little less than waist high so I don't have to bend as much. Putting the legs in oil trays works, until it rains a couple times and the oil runs over. Ants can become a problem, but a few are a non issue. I've done the peanut butter/borax thing a couple times with good results, kills the ants and the bees have no interest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Pendleton,Oregon USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Ant control

    Thanks Kevtater, I'm pretty sheltered from the wind. But those ants when they showup they will cove a 1.5 square foot area solid, and they show up overnight

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,938

    Default Re: Ant control

    Here is a hive stand built to stop ants ....

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Actually-Works!
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Ant control

    Rader,

    I saw something almost like that on YouTube, and thought it looked worth a try. My stand legs are inverted U's instead of T's, and the vinyl plumbing fittings I'm using are different, but the idea is the same, an inverted cap filled with grease. I'm splitting my caps and holding them together with a hose clamp so they can be removed and cleaned or repacked.

    Keep the grass and weeds down, of course.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Pendleton,Oregon USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Ant control

    Thanks Rader, I work in a hardware store so all the parts will be easy for me. Thanks so much

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Tazewell, VA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Ant control

    My stand is built on three treated 4 x 4 post and I coat a 8 inch section of the post with grease and it seems to do a good job of keeping them at bay. I have flowers planted in front of my hives and if I keep them trimmed back to where the ants cant use them as a road to the stand it all seems to work pretty good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Ant control

    Mercy! I fought ants tooth and nail for about 18 months after getting my 2 then 4 hives. Finally, two things worked for me. My hives built up into healthy hives. Second I put my hives on 18" cinder blocks and sprayed Pyrethrin insect repellent/killer on the blocks.

    Bees don't walk around much, Pyrethrin is a contact pesticide/repellant of low potency that ants and other insects don't like to walk on. Needs reapplication after rains but otherwise works for me and doesn't kill bees that I can see. Sprayed on lower half of the block heavily.

    Anyway, that is my story and I am sticking to it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrethrin
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    san diego california usa
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Ant control

    We mande our stands with galvanized pipe. Two parallel bars 18" apart with "T" type legs to separate and support. Two or three legs depending on how long you make it. We use rubber pipe reducers w

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    san diego california usa
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Ant control

    Woops
    Anyway the band clamp type rubber reducers are set two to each leg with the larger end facing eachother with a slight gap between them ro keep curious bees out of the mineral oil we use in the lower cup.
    We set our four in concrete. So far no more ants. Very sturdy and with proper spacing there is a place to put lids and boxes when working.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Ant control

    I too had an ant problem. Next I discovered small hive beetle and their larva in my hive so I did a pyrethrin soak to stop the hive beetle larva from pupating in the soil. I put two ounces in 10 gallons of water and soaked the ground around the hive. No more ants. Now I know that pyrethins are not good for bees to contact so I try to keep it away from them. If it will kill ants, it will kill bees. I wonder what the bees do when encountering a chrysanthemum flower as they contain natural pyrethins.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Ant control

    Our breeders our on a stand with a pressure treated 4*4 coming of a concrete pad. There is the ring of a coffee can around the 4*4 and we put old motor oil in the cans. We have a pallet with four hives on top of it. The stand is two feet up so we can work the hives without bending over and if the grass grows up the ants can't walk up to the hive as quickly.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Ant control

    Well, my experience varies a bit, and only julysun probably can come close as s/he is actually within 100 miles of me.

    My particular problem is with Fire Ants, and they are here on this earth by way of Hades. I have stands made by DH with 4x4 legs. I set the feet in pie tins filled with Amdro Fire Ant granules. I tried oil, water, tanglefoot, you name it, and the FA would simply walk across the backs of their dead brethren to get to the hive. The granules are too big for the bees to bother with. I have seen FA take down a very strong hive in under 7 days. They don't eat the honey or wax. They just sting and kill all the pupae causing the hive to abscond.

    The drawback seems to be that the granules do not bother SHB either. And they are a problem, because our climate does not encourage them to go dormant. We measure freezes in hours not months. So the ground beneath all hives is bare. That goes a LONG way to knocking down the SHB.

    Good luck!
    Summer

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Ant control

    Summer1052, Crazy ants came along and helped my get rid of Fire ants. Soapy water works on fire ants to a degree, they cannot bridge it. Did not see how the Pyrethin spray or ground soak worked as the FAs were gone before I tried that. Strong soapy water in some what large containers will hold through a good rain, but water, grease, oil, dynamite takes a lot of supervising to maintain a good defense. I do believe that when/if you knock back a big attack then later if you can discourage/block the scouts you win.

    When using straight water, and you see an ant bridge, spray with soapy water and the bridge will hit the bottom like magic. Real satisfying!

    Anyway, here is hoping you succeed.

    I do think you need to keep the hive full of bees, I did remove supers to crowd my bees a bit and that seemed to help.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Ant control

    Hey, I think the latest issue of Science News has a piece on Crazy Ants ... not just something JulySun made up, BTW. They fend off fire ant venom by rubbing themselves with formic acid they excrete, which evidently neutralizes the venom.

    Soapy water is used in a device called an Ant Can't, which keeps ants off hummingbird feeders. They work. I'd be worried about bees drowning in those, though, as the cup points up. The advantage of the grease cups is they point down.

    I doubt any traps will stop SHB as they can fly.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Ant control

    Here is something nearly identical to Rader's setup. There is an old post around here somewhere that gives this link. I'm basing mine on this, with different pvc fittings and a more stable leg design.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE9kr96bI9E

    He said this originally didn't work because the wood frame was infested. The backstory is evidently that Brushy Mountain used to carry something called an "Ant-B-Gone", and this gizmo is a home-made replacement.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Ant control

    I just stuck an AMDRO spike into the soil at the base of my cinderblock hive stand. Bees never touched it, and didn't have any ant problems afterwards.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Ant control

    My version of inverted cup grease trap:

    GreaseCup001Web.jpg

    GreaseCup002Web.jpg

    GreaseCup003Web.jpg

    Pipe is 1" galvanized or black iron
    3" to 1 1/2" PVC reducer
    1 1/2" to 1" PVC bushing
    Hose clamp
    Use half-round file to open up bushing to slide over 1" pipe
    Cement bushing into reducer with PVC cement, cure
    Split with hacksaw

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