Black Sugar Ants
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    West Bloomfield, MI, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Black Sugar Ants

    Hi All,

    So upon lifting the outer hive cover on one of my hives today, I found the inner cover crawling with tons and tons of black sugar ants. I found something similar last week and, as the ants seemed to be located in the decorative copper outer cover (the one that looks like a little roof), I replaced it with a different cover. Evidently, the ants remained. So, today I had my son blast the outer cover to drown the ants that were flowing out of it and replaced the outer cover with yet another one. Finally, I sprinkled some ground cinnamon around the base of the hive (I remember reading/hearing somewhere that helped). I spent the next half hour squishing ants that popped up here and there. Not very effective--I know--but I'm not certain what else to do.

    Does anyone have any advice about how to deal with these ants? Thanks!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    I’ve had them in hive top feeders and in all sorts of places where the bees couldn’t get to them. I haven’t seen any indication of a problem they cause. I leave them alone.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    West Bloomfield, MI, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    Thanks, Beemandan. I'll keep an eye on them then. I'm just afraid they'll annoy the bees to the point of the hive's absconding.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Vestavia Hills, Al. USA
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    a blow torch is more fun... anyway https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...cheap-and-easy
    Started April Fools Day 2017

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    West Bloomfield, MI, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    Thanks, R_V, I know what you mean about the blow torch!!! Thanks for the idea about the NeverWet. I have each of my hives on four cinder blocks, each of which acts as a pilar. Do you think I could spray the NeverWet directly upon those blocks with positive effect? That way, I wouldn't have to lift and reassemble the hive upon four different pie pans.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Vestavia Hills, Al. USA
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    the never wet works but is a proccess.. I've stopped using it and just use the grease as in poet # 2 https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...85#post1636985

    it's much quicker and easier and has lasted longer as I show in post 18 that something is working the edges https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...41#post1661041

    so now I just use the grease.
    Started April Fools Day 2017

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    844

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    Ants need moisture, which is what they are getting under the cover. Just raise the cover and tilt it back so that the front "lip" is on the edge of the inner cover. I also push the inner cover back about a 1/2" to make an upper entrance and an area where the bees can fan the moisture out of the hive's nectar. May encourage robbing depending upon your hive's strength but in any case raise the cover to deny the ants their moisture for the nest. OMTCW

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Algood, TN, USA
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Hi All,

    So upon lifting the outer hive cover on one of my hives today, I found the inner cover crawling with tons and tons of black sugar ants. I found something similar last week and, as the ants seemed to be located in the decorative copper outer cover (the one that looks like a little roof), I replaced it with a different cover. Evidently, the ants remained. So, today I had my son blast the outer cover to drown the ants that were flowing out of it and replaced the outer cover with yet another one. Finally, I sprinkled some ground cinnamon around the base of the hive (I remember reading/hearing somewhere that helped). I spent the next half hour squishing ants that popped up here and there. Not very effective--I know--but I'm not certain what else to do.

    Does anyone have any advice about how to deal with these ants? Thanks!
    When I have a problem with ants I use the Terro Liquid Ant Bait at the base of the hive. It is in a plastic container and the bees can't get to it. The ants go in, eat the liquid, take it back to their nest and it kills them. Works well for me, cinnamon never seems to really affect them.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Davis, California
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    Quote Originally Posted by SueBeeTN View Post
    When I have a problem with ants I use the Terro Liquid Ant Bait at the base of the hive. It is in a plastic container and the bees can't get to it. The ants go in, eat the liquid, take it back to their nest and it kills them. Works well for me, cinnamon never seems to really affect them.
    I might put one of those Terro ant baits on the cover.

    You should look and see where they are coming from. Are they congregating under the cover, but climbing up the legs, or have they moved into the hive as their nest? They are two different scenarios to deal with.

    Assuming they are climbing up from a nest in the ground, then you will need to create a barrier that keeps them from being able to climb up (like the links posted above).

    Depending on how big your ant population is, it could be no problem at all (leave them alone and everything is fine), or they could wipe out the hive taking not only the honey (sugar) but also the brood.

    It sounds like yours are not that aggressive or not a large enough colony to take over the hive, but don't let the size fool you. It is a numbers game. If there are enough ants they will overwhelm the hive. They you hope the bees do abscond so at least some survive...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    West Bloomfield, MI, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    Thanks Suebee and Adammccoy! I've thought about some kind of ant killer, I'm just worried about introducing poison so near a human food source. But if it's in an inaccessible container, that might help. But I know my wife would go completely mental if she knew that I had used ant poison!!!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    3,142

    Default Re: Black Sugar Ants

    Victor,

    Keep your wife happy. Search this site for “My Ant Proof Hive Stand Actually Works” and your ant problems will be over!
    My opinions are based on a decade of beekeeping, book learning and watching YouTube videos.

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