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Ants In The Hive

6547 Views 21 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Gypsi
On a recent hive inspection, I discovered a large amount of small black ants inside the outer cover. They are laying eggs and appear to have made this their new home. I did not find them inside the hive body. Should I try to get rid of them? If so, how?
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Make sure the inner cover has bee space above it and an escape hole. The bees will patrol the space.
Some commercial inner covers have a 1/8 inch space on one side, this is too small for the bees to enter and patrol.
Remove the existing ant nest, as once established, the bees accomodate the intruders.
Happens to me regularly, but it's just an annoyance to me (I have to knock them all off the cover) and harmless to the bees. The ants don't have access to the hives because the bees make a good propolis seal. The same thing happens in the windows of my top bar hives. Sometimes I pop the window off and several hundred ants fall out.
The ants in mine were a lil more agressive in that they completlly destroyed my newlly spit hive. probably not strong enough to fight em off at the time but within the space of about 48 hrs...the hive was dead. Putting some type of oil barrier tween the ground and the hive helps keepthem out.


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Sprinkle a little cinnamon powder on top of the inner cover, and the ants will be gone. I had this problem last Summer and the cinnamon was suggested by another member on here. It works great!
I will try cinnamon and if that doesn't work will go to the oil. Thank you for the advice.
The ants in mine were a lil more agressive in that they completlly destroyed my newlly spit hive. probably not strong enough to fight em off at the time but within the space of about 48 hrs...the hive was dead. Putting some type of oil barrier tween the ground and the hive helps keepthem out.
That's crazy how quickly the can kill a hive.

I'm from South Florida where they have those large red bull ants. I'm glad we don't have those here in Oregon.
I would do both the grease and cinammon.

I had an issue with false honey ants and found that the grease deterred them completely. If they cannot get to the hives, then it's a non issue.
I always have a propane torch with me to light my smoker and sterilize my hive tool between yards. I use it to torch the nest. Just hold it at a distance so it doesn't burn the covers. We get these little tiny black ants that bite and are miserable.
Santa...Did you inadvertently put them on a fire ant hive??? NEVER seen such a quick loss! I've seen a week...never 48 hiours. How terrible. Wow, and sorry!! The bull ants are awful here...never know what I am going to find on the inner cover...I am ready to pretty much smash anything I see. I have lost a few hives to the bull ants...they suck for sure! Then within days the hive beetles and wax moths have destroyed ANYthing that was left! Don't let that hive sit AT all....or you will lose any resources you may be able to salvage.

To DaveC...Walk that inner cover away from your bee yard and dump the nasty ants into the pond, or any water source. If none, bang them off or smash them...then cover that inner cover with cinnamon. You may need to reapplly. The bees don't mind. Some cinnamon around the hive stand legs helps too!
Greetings All. I don't personally have this problem, but I have a friend that has a yard full of what he calls Piss-Ants. I don't know what the correct terminology is. I have acquired him a hive, and he is currently feeding; however, the ants are coming to the feed in droves. After reading these posts someone mentioned oil and grease. My question is can you pour used motor oil on the ground around the bee stand? Can you put axle grease on the bee stand? Could you use Vaseline? This is probably good information for all of us. Thanks for your reply.
I wouldn't pour used motor oil on the ground. It would make a mess, no plants will want to grow and I would guess that it's illegal to do. but I live basically in a forest n them critters are just everywhere.
As for using motoroil n pans, i'm rethinking this and have bought the material to go to a single post hive stand. 3 less legs to give access. Im installing a metal pan on the post just under the platform and this'll keep the rains from overfilling the pans with water. Gonna use mineral oil. Theres also a product by Spectracide that is a tree prune sealer. Im gonna spray n coat the whole post underneath the pan. Its a blk tar like material n tween this and the pan, (cross my fingers) should keep them out. Lot of work but in the end it'll look better than the sawhorse stands they're on now and be better protection.
If queen Ann lace is blooming put the flower head in the top of the hive, I understand ants dislike it too.
I'm on Vancouver island and this happened to me recently. Lost a new split with a great Queen in a week. These are small but aggressive red ants. They are going down!
I already replied here, but remembered something. I was in New England helping my Mom out, and she had a terrible ant problem all around the hives. The hives were strong enough to defend, but they still had to GO. I followed the ants to find their nests, and (carefully and cautiously) sprinkled Amdro granules on the tunnel openings. The bees had nothing to do with it, and the granules had been taken into the ground in no time at all. Poof!! No more ants! I was nervous about it at first, but it worked like a champ. In fact, that was last summer. I just came back from visiting her again, and she is still cured of the ant problem. HTH.
My pest control guy says all that will kill raspberry crazy ants is fipronil. I'm thinking fire or boiling water are also options. Has anyone fought them? They are not near the bees at the moment but I have got them and Amdro Ant Block is not working on them. Either they or fire ants got a baby chick last week too
Boiling water and I thought I'd read of soap in water works too. The ants that killed mine are the big red/black carpenter/bull ants. They hide "somehwere" and their nests are difficult to find. The fire ants and the lil small ones dont seem to bother my hives. The few fire ants mounds in the area...I just stir it up with a stick and wet the nest down with ant killer. I make sure it's not spraying onto the hives of course but being careful, the fire ants are gone and the bees arent bothered by the pesticide. Not like they're down on the ground crawling around on a ant nest anyway!!
The single pole I went to was a pain but well worth it. Digging the hole 3' deep and pouring the cement (dry..let Mother nature wet it! It still gets hard). The pan I did put on downside and coated it with heavy axle grease. Pointing down the rains dont fill it with rainwater. i also installed a big eyelet into the cement that I plan on chaining the hives to. Few reports of hives stolen in Florida and if I can chain the brood box...well...trying to take a half hive may not work well for whomever.
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If not for the following thread, I would not have understood what to do with the axle grease. There have been numberous other similar solutions on the forum as well.!&highlight=hive+stand

building plan, post 7
For the grease in the upsid down cups, bearing grease was used. In my skimming I did not find the brand name that was recommended.
I only have a couple of hives and had the same problem..I bought a stainless stand and but the ends in 2 inch pvc end caps. I glued a 2 inch long one inch piece inside that the bottom ends went in and put oil inside the caps. Then made a cover to put over the cap to keep bees out. Just make sure the cover doesn't top the cap filled with oil or the ants may try and crawl up on that.
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