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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone repaired the holes that ants have chewed into their polystyrene mini nucs? I have a couple that the ants have made a mess of getting the the sugar inside while trying to avoid the bees.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have not had to repair mini nucs yet, but I do repair my styrofoam feeders with DAP plastic wood. The Elmer's stuff would work too. It is water based so I think it is safe once dried. I do not think it can be submerged though so it depends on where the damage is.
 

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Did you paint them? If not do you think that might help. The reason I ask is I am going to buy some next year and we have ants. Something I hadn't considered.

Alex
 

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could you put foil tape over the holes? The foil will probably stop the ants from chewing thru and seal the holes. If you don't want shiny nucs you may be able to use tyvex tape.
 

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The feeders did not get painted but my ML double minis did. The minis have not been out long enough yet to sustain any damage. The feeders are two years old and spend about 9 months each year outside. Not so much ants for me but the darn yellow jackets chewing tunnels across the top edge. I think I will try the foil tape this summer, seems like a really good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mine have been painted with an oil based Rustoleum paint. I don't think that it has slowed the ants down much. I may use the foil tape on the outside. One is so bad that the feeder filled up with rain water. I will try the DAP product for the tunnels that they have created. I will be putting the minis up on a rebar post and using grease to limit access.
Thanks for the suggestions folks!
 

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Multiple coats of water based poly has worked for me, inside and out coats.
 

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Has anyone repaired the holes that ants have chewed into their polystyrene mini nucs? I have a couple that the ants have made a mess of getting the the sugar inside while trying to avoid the bees.
I haven't had the need to repair my minis yet, but I have repaired model airplanes with polystyrene parts using 5-minute expoy. It was fine for that application, but I'd try a test spot on the mini before using it in a critical spot. I guess is that it should work just fine.
 

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I put one of my printed mini mating nucs out when I caught a handful of bees that followed a young queen out on a mating flight, I left it overnight tied to a pallet and when I checked it the next morning the bees had left except for the ones that had drowned in the syrup. So lesson #1 is to keep them closed up for a few days until the queen cell is added. #2 was to put a polystyrene float on the syrup to prevent bees drowning. However another thing to think about is the amount of chewing some critter did on the nuc trying to get to the syrup.
 

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Never tried it, but what if you filled the hole with spray foam? The foil tape is a good idea because my bees chew the foam board under my top covers...until I put the foil on. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have some 5 minute epoxy that i can trial. I'll bet that the ants will not be able to chew it. Thanks AstroBee for the suggestion.

I use fondant in my minis johno because of the drowning issue. Unfortunately the critters still seem to have a sweet tooth.

My experience using spray foam is that it can be chewed as easily as the polystyrene. Plus, I only seem to get a single use from the spray can before it becomes clogged. My ant holes are small in the scheme of things...
 

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I agree with Astrobee in that you should do a test. I would not be surprised if the epoxy melted the poly.

Alex
 

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I agree with Astrobee in that you should do a test. I would not be surprised if the epoxy melted the poly.

Alex
Epoxy resin is OK for foam. Polyester resin is not. Polyester is often referred to as fiberglass resin and is a third the price of epoxy but bad news for foam.

Gorilla brand has a foam safe glue. It is moisture setting and every time you open the bottle you get in some moisture so you seldom get to use the whole bottle; dont buy the large size thinking to save money!

Common white glue takes forever to set in deep closed joints since it depends on evaporation.
 

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I have used epoxy on an almost daily basis in the past. Not all epoxies are created equal. The thickness of the layer will matter as to how hot it gets.
We almost always had small amounts left over in the dixie cups we used to mixed the resin and catalyst. The left over got hot enough to melt the wax on the cup.
Although I have never used any on foam, based on my use of epoxies in other applications, I would do a small test. Better safe than sorry.

HANDLING PRECAUTIONS:.............................................................Avoid all skin and eye contact. Wash thoroughly after handling. Launder contaminated clothing before reuse. Avoid inhalation of vapors from heated product. Precautionary steps should be taken when curing product in large quantities. When mixed with epoxy curing agents this product causes an exothermic, which in large masses, can produce enough heat to damage or ignite surrounding materials and emit fumes and vapors that vary widely in composition and toxicity.

This is from an MSDS for epoxy. I realize it states," In large quantities", but I don't know where melting of foam is on the chart compared with ignition of other random materials.
But, also keep in mind this is coming from someone who has paid workers comp and general liability insurance premiums for many years.

Epoxy paint may be the way to go as a preventative measure with new nucs.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I appreciate the help guys. I don't think that I have ever used the entire contents of any glue container. Epoxy paint is interesting. I have never used it.
 

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Yes the exothermic heat in curing can be an issue in mixing and in pouring thick sections: this would be an issue with either epoxy or polyester. I do not think that would be concern with the amounts used on the mini nucs!

What I was referring to was whether epoxy was "foam safe" in regards to the chemical dissolving of foam, rather than thermal melting.
 

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I agree. I had to scroll back to make sure I said, "melt". :)

Alex
 
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