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Discussion Starter #1
Two of my hives are on a stand with four legs sitting in two inch high aluminum pans filled with motor oil. This I believe is common, but what is not common is that one of the pans is always full o dead (DROWNED ?) bees.
It is so full that the ants can walk over the bee bodys so I have to keep it cleaned out.

Obviously I have an ant problem and I am working on it. But why the dead bees in the oil??
Anybody have any ideas?? The oil is just cheap motor oil.
 

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Could it be possible be that when the house bees are removing dead bees and throwing them out, that they are landing in the motor oil??? I would be curious since you stated that only one pan has bees in it.
 

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Gabe, don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to be accusatory or inflammatory, but I have a question:

When you set the legs in cans containing motor oil, how much oil is in the bottom of the can? What happens during rainstorms? Is the can somehow protected from rainwater entering and overflowing the can and oil onto and into the ground?

I'm just curious if there is some method of protecting the oil from polluting the ground near the hives. That's one reason I haven't tried this method of ant control.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The bees are always in the same pan and there are very few ( but some) dead bees elswhere. The legs are two by fours and the pans (sitting on small concrete slabs) are 3 X 6 X about 2 1/2 inch deep. the dead bees fill the pan completely!!
The rains have stopped here in Santa Barbara it won't rain again untll the fall. I do have to top off the oil once in a while. It must evaporate. ( and clean out the dead bees)
 

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Some bees will just fall into the oil and drown, especially in the pans on the front of the hive near the entrance. It helps if the oil only covers the bottom of the pan and you have a cover above the pans to keep the rain out. The large discs that soccer coaches use work well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The pan that has the dead bees IS right under the corner of the front entrance to a hive. I just went down to the hive to check it out and there was a patch of bees about the size and shape of a canalope on the stand leg above the oil pan. I don't know whats going on! Could they be a buffer againest ants?? I wish I owned a digital camera, then I could show you,
 

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Using oil will, in time, cause the 2x4's to rot. periodically you need to check them. I tried motor oil on some 2x4 fence posts and within two years the bottom had rotted to where the fence jut fell over.
Just a suggestion, try to modify your stands with pipe then coat with oil. My hive stands are made out of schedule 80 3" diameter pipe-12" in the ground with concret and 18" above-, scrounge around junk yards or scrape yards and you'll find what you are looking for.
 
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