Ants 'stealing' bee larvae
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lawrence, MI USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Ants 'stealing' bee larvae

    I'm a newbee and saw a large black ant carry a tiny bee (could see the shape) larvae out of the hive. Honeybees didn't react. I could not stay long enough to watch for more ants doing this. Is this normal? Part of a plan to get rid of diseased larvae or should I watch for some ill effects by ants stealing anything else?
    All other aspects of the hive seem normal for this time of year in Michigan.
    Thanks for any advice!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Default Re: Ants 'stealing' bee larvae

    It happens. Try to find the ant nest and kill it by using a shovel and ant killer. This sounds like Carpenter ants and they will kill the hive if given enough time. Remember poisons that kill ants also kill bees so do not treat for ants in the hive.
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dover, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Ants 'stealing' bee larvae

    I have the same problem with a nuc I just installed. Tons of carpenter ants stealing larva :-( I'm going to try to find the ant hive but it's in some pretty dense grass so I'm not all that hopeful.

    I wonder if I raise the hive up some more if that would help? The bees don't seem to even try going after the ants though.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Ants 'stealing' bee larvae

    Try sprinkling cinnamon on your top cover. It will not harm the bees but should deter the ants. This is what I have been told from a local, but I haven't had the problem myself.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    722

    Default Re: Ants 'stealing' bee larvae

    Does cinnamon work for the carpenter ants? Some members in our club say it doesn't and you have to find their hive and kill them or they will eradicate the bee hive. They said the same it true to the large red ant found in forest lands. So far I only had the tiny black sugar ants in my hive and cinnamon took care of it.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: Ants 'stealing' bee larvae

    Put your hive on concrete blocks, then start spraying Ortho home defense on the bottom part of the blocks in the evening . It'll only work for a couple of days for starting out as they only use one trail up the block but it does work.
    Been using Ampro green label this year, it's a bait/poison sprinkle it on the area around the hives seems to be knocking the population down. Flippin' carpetener ants are close to the top of my list of "the only good one is a dead one"
    P.S. Tried cinnamon, didn't work
    Rod

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dover, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Ants 'stealing' bee larvae

    I thought the ants were carrying away bee larva, but I'm pretty sure now they were raising ant larva on the inner cover. Whenever I'd open the cover, each ant would pick one of them up and scurry away. I had a few on Thursday or Friday, then a bunch on Saturday before I put in some cinnamon. I only had a couple on Sunday when I looked, so it seems that the cinnamon is at least making it a less attractive home for them. I also opened up the top entrance when I last went over so that the inner cover wouldn't be so warm and inviting to the ants.

    I'm going to be moving the hive a bit sometime this week hopefully. I'm going to put it on a double layer of cinder blocks instead of a single layer, I think that might help a bit. If they keep coming back I think I'm going to try diatomaceous earth next.

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