Fipronil is an insect killer. I thought I could use it to control small hive beetles using a beetle barn. I was successful for 2 years and killed a lot of SHB. I was meticulous not to cross-contaminate anything...But one year I had a massive bee kill and it could only be the fipronil. I stay away from that and learned my lesso.Fipronil is used in some ant baits. If the ants ingest it or carry some back to the hive it could possibly be spread just by contact with honeybees. I have some ant bait for carpenter ants that contain fipronil, I do not use it on ants around beehives.
I noticed the ants feed on the residue of the hive and I had several hives that had black ants with a nest in the top cover. But they do not seem to bother the bees and stay separated, They just seem to harvest dead bees and bee parts along with stuff that ends up on the floor of the hive. They may steal some honey but I have not noticed any great damage to the comb.
Here is a study abstract on fipronil and honeybees:
Fipronil promotes motor and behavioral changes in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and affects the development of colonies exposed to sublethal doses - PubMedBees play a crucial role in pollination and generate honey and other hive products; therefore, their worldwide decline is cause for concern. New broad-spectrum systemic insecticides such as fipronil can harm bees and their use has been discussed as a potential threat to bees' survival. In the...pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Terro Ant Bait uses borax, but it uses a sugar syrup to attract the ants. That may attract some bees as well. I do not know.
Hi Michael. What i am concerned about is what I cant see and tropholaxis between ant and bee. Does this even occur?I prefer to use equal parts borax, jelly and water in a small tuperware container with 1/8" holes in it. Preferably on the ant hill, but if you can't find it just put it on the ant trail...
Nothing i have used has ever worked as well. But i see ants on the ipm board, in the feeder/vent shim....I bet that once we destroy the planet either with a nuclear war or climate change, it’s ants and ****roaches that will survive. Nothing I tried to control ants worked. The pest guy that comes to treat for termites applied some heavy duty chemical, Hydramethylnon, to target the species of ants I have. Didn’t work.
I used to grease the legs of the hive stand which works for a few months, but eventullay the ants will find a bridge.
I don’t worry about ants anymore. At least not the species I happen to have here. They seem to co exist with the bees without being too much of nuisance. I never saw ants on the comb or honey, and they are more likely to be inside the hive when I am feeding.
(wow.... I noticed the first four letters of ****roaches gets automatically bleeped )
My apiary is setup differently. I use warm way bases But you have given me an idea to try this springtime!!!Yes I see ants there too occasionally. But never on brood or honey frames. Not once, and I inspect hives very often. I suspect that ants clean up some debris and pollen that falls off, so they may actually be ‘beneficial’.... though I definitely won’t be encouraging them
When I feed I do so with syrup and they clean up any spills, even if I’m careful not to have any.
I guess they’d be a problem if you are feeding dry sugar.
Have you tried grease on the hive legs? When I maintained that it was probably the most successful strategy of all. I used machine grease that won’t dry out and it is best done on upside down cups between the legs and the hive so it won’t get covered with dust or sand and ants walk over it. Similar to this:
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I have sprinkled fine corn meal around Before. I will find ants caked on the inside of the feeders , one layer thick-dead....but ants everywhere. The ant bait i have is a sugary concoction of tetraborate, which would be appealing to most insects, but in a trap form...... i have held off on doing anything until I can gather a lot more data. There is usually no coming back from a calamity like this at this time of year if you happen to poison your colony.
my OP posed whether ants and bees engage in trophylaxis, I have read where bees share with shb. This could bee very bad but cant find an answer.
i am mostly concerned that the ants will infiltrate the wood structures around the apiary, even though they are not carpenter ants nor do we have fire ants this far north in Northern Virginia. Thank you for taking the time to respond!