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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I was watching the bees on the outside of the hive and I saw several black ants (about 10 total) on the outside of the hive. I was thinking sooner or later the bees would spot them and remove them but to my surprise the ants crawled right inside the crack where the super meets the hive body. Now I couldn’t tell if the ants actually made it all the way inside the hive or not but I suspect they did. I was even more surprised that the bees didn’t seem to pay them any attention.
So are a few ants around the bee hive normal or should I be concerned ?
 

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Depends on what you expect from your bees. If I were breeding or buying higienic bees it would definitely depress me. But if you don't have anything in that area, some people on this forum have said the ants don't bother them. Some of us try to get rid of them. And some are still deciding.

Are you feeding?

Hawk
 

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how many frames of bees are in the hive? and where is there morale? would be my first questions.

bees should be paying special attention to ants considering their strong pheromones.

and even if they are a bigger, more aggressive ant, if they have over 4 frames of bees, should be no problem.
 

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Since NC is like TN. The ants are just a fact of life. Some ants normal, when feeding watch out for eccesive ants. I've found one nest in an inner cover, squshed lots of em and disturbed their nest and the bees took care of the rest. Every time I go out and look at my hives I see some ants. They aren't going to run off with all the honey. I would say the only way to get rid of them would be 50 ft diameter heavy spraying of some sort of insecticide. But you don't want to do that, youd probably kill your bees, or at least posion your honey.

Raised hives help. Reduce the area that ants can travel and that makes for less area for the bees to have to guard. I don't see my bees paying alot of attention to them, but I know they are because if the weren't the hives would be quickly overrun and emptied of honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The hives are strong and on cement blocks, there about 8 inches off the ground, each hive has one full super now plus a little in a second super that wasn’t removed this year. I’m not feeding any of the fore hives I have at this time.

I thought about painting the cement blocks with diesel fuel to discourage the ants from climbing up onto the hives, do you think this would poison the bees too?

Thanks for the info
 

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I live in southern Illinois and had an ant problem earlier in the spring. The ants were smaller but there were lots of them. They had even laid eggs on top of my inner cover. I discovered that cinnamon, sprinkled on the ground around the hive and on top of the inner cover not only got rid of the ants that were there, but they never came back! And what a lovely smell when I open the hive! It doesn't bother or harm the bees. Just a thought. I don't use pesticides anywhere in my yard and am always looking for 'alternative' remedies.
 

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I've heard that if you BBQ with charcoal you can put down a ring of the ashes as a shield against ants and any other little crawler. I guess they don't like the lye in the ashes.
 

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I saw an ad for a few metal feet that went on the hive stand. It seemed like a good idea for ants. Just coat the metal with vasaline. You would need a solid flat foundation for the feet to rest on.
I never saw one, but just read the discription. I have ants but not really many. I just leave them.
 
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