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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I, just recently, saw a huge amount of large ants come out from under the hive and try to swarm into the hive. The bees set up their blocking defense but I had to continue to scrap them off near the front of the hive until they stopped coming in droves. I know it was their swarm time but how do I get rid of them (under the hive) without harming the bees?? :scratch::s

Originally, it was my fault for setting up the bottom board on a 2X3 paver without giving space underneath. Otherwise, the ants wouldn't have been able to set up house there.
 

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I am in no way an expert but I had a similar problem with my hive at my fathers house I had that hive set up on a pallet and the ants took up home first under the pallet then were increasingly bothering the hive. The hive also had a screened bottom board that just made the hive more accessible and the situation worse.

My remedy to the issue was. I built a stand about 24 inches raised off of the ground the stand had four legs, I placed each leg in a 9 inch aluminum pie plate and put about 1/8 of an inch of mineral oil in each of the pie plates. this basically created a mote around each leg ants could not cross the oil or water. I just kept an eye on the pie plates and added oil as necessary after a heavy rain within a month I no longer added any oil and the bees actually used the water in the pie tins as a water source at times.

Just a note before placing the stand I removed the pallets and also placed some diamatageous earth on the ground. This I think also helped keep the ants at bay, that hive is doing great this spring and has no sign of ants or SHB. I actually split in 21 days ago. I also use this type of a set up at my house where I have a 6 leg stand that supports up to 6 hives currently I am using 5 of the hive spaces on the stand and have no issues with ants, I also placed tarpaper/and rolled roofing beneath my stand to help with keeping insects and vegetation from under hives I also believe this may help with SHB reproduction.

Like I said this is just what I did to remedy my situatinthere are many more knowledgeable than I here that can guide you possibly to a better or easier solution. Good luck !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ny- I was wondering if diatomaceous earth would do the trick. Does it hurt the bees in any way?? I'd have to put it under the hive stand which is only about an inch or two of space.

The ants are causing the hive stand to rot and they were coming out of even the back corners of the hive. I thought I had gotten most of them with a stick (scrapping they out from underneath) but when I smoked the hive yesterday they started coming out again. There had been a lot of queen ants.

By next year I'll have a better hive stand set up, but this is a large hive and I'd like to see what can remedy the present situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks ny. Very good article. I think it would be too close to the bees to try to put it under the bottom board.

SO- are there any other ways to get rid of the ants?
 

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SO- are there any other ways to get rid of the ants?
Certainly - but this may not appeal to everybody ...

The active ingredient in most antkillers is Borax - a substance which used to be popular for the washing of clothes. The way to use this is to mix some Borax powder with as little warm water as possible, then 'fold' it into some granulated sugar, as if you were mixing dough for scones - the idea being to coat the sugar crystals with the goo, rather than dissolve the whole mixture together. Then the ants will carry the coated sugar crystals back to their nest, where a build-up of Borax will eventually kill the colony. To prevent bees from accessing the mix, put a small amount into a jam jar, with small (<2mm) holes made in the lid.

If you can't be arsed with making stuff up, then there's a liquid product called 'Nippon', a drop of which is applied to a surface to which the ants have access, and again - the bees will carry this stuff back to their nest with the same result. Again, you'll need to cover the bait in some way to keep the bees from accessing it.
LJ
 

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When I can, I like to lightly “torch” the buggers. Works like a charm when you can get at them w/o hurting the bees.
 

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If you haven't done your spring inspection/management/reverses why don't you build a hive"stand" when you do that? In fact, why don't you just do it the next nice day? A hive "stand" doesn't have to be fancy, or even built. You can get concrete blocks cheap, level the area, and plop them down. 3 standard 8x8x16 blocks are enough. I have mine on 2 courses to get the hive a little higher. Will cost you about $1.25 a block. The holes in the block would be a good place for borax or other ant killer with screen covering the hole to prevent the bees getting in. I have used diatomaceous earth successfully for small ants. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All good ideas. I have done my spring inspection but am recovering from knee surgery- and back surgery about 2 years ago that has limited some of my lifting. OK all excuses aside. I do use cement block and a 2'X3' paver on the top for my hive stands. Three hives are on a former cement walk with cement blocks. The hive I'm talking about is very strong with 2 hive boxes high and 3 supers high. Right now I can't lift the bottom hive box to do the repair. Come fall it will get done.

Meanwhile I thought I'd get some ideas to get rid of the ants. These are a kind I hadn't seen before. Black with a reddish tint to the back. They are the size of a carpenter ant.

I like your idea about adding the borax in the block holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, Michael. I have grape jelly and water. Will have to pick up some borax. Do I just shove it under the hive stand? I guess the bees wouldn't be attracted to grape jelly?
 

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Yes, put it in or on something (like a paper plate) and make sure the ants can get to it (cut a bit of the rim off so they don't have to crawl around it). I haven't had issues with the bees taking an interest but in a dearth they might. Generally if it's under the hive they aren't interested. You may need to go back in a few days and add water so it doesn't dry out too much.
 

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Great answers, I've been trying the borax mixed with water method, it kills those that get there and is working well. My problem is my ant populations(newly acquired property) are thoroughly out of control, I have several mounds of what I believe are fire ants that are about four feet wide by up to about 32 inches high. Serious stuff!

I could physically destroy the mounds but I'm concerned the ants will just scatter and reproduce more colonies elsewhere. Like I said, the borax works, just really slowly and I'm not seeing any signs that enough of it is making its way back into the mounds to get the entire job done.

Ideas? I'm looking to establish a hive and don't want to loose my first try to the ants.
 

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>I could physically destroy the mounds but I'm concerned the ants will just scatter and reproduce more colonies elsewhere.

I've destroyed ant hills that were a problem by using a hose and a shovel. They are similar to bees in that an ant can't start another colony unless it's the queen. You won't start more colonies and if you kill the queen it will be the end of the colony.
 

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I could physically destroy the mounds but I'm concerned the ants will just scatter and reproduce more colonies elsewhere. Like I said, the borax works, just really slowly and I'm not seeing any signs that enough of it is making its way back into the mounds to get the entire job done.


Ideas? I'm looking to establish a hive and don't want to loose my first try to the ants.
Kick the hives open and hit them with your smoker torch...……… works every time and is fun to do...…….
 

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Nor sure what ants your dealing with but I've had luck grinding walnut leaves and placing them on the inner cover and just inside the entrance. Worked against large black ants but did nothing against the little sweet eaters that were after the honey after I ran the big ones off.
 
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