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My husband (ainsof) and I have had a hard time with starting up beekeeping.

Our first package absconded with a clipped queen.

As the supplier offered up a replacement queen, (we had to find frames of brood), we wound up purchasing a nuc from a local beekeep. Hoped they would be strong enough so we could take the proprietor up on his offer.

No Go.

Even though St. Louis MO is not suppose to have fire ants, we strongly believe they do. 1/2 inch red ants (size of carpenters) have been robbing our hive. They were chewing off the capped cells and we caught two of them -um- red handed, pulling out larvae.

They robbed faster than the queen could lay. It took less than two weeks for the ants to find it and drive her off. As of last night, the queen swarmed with the last remaining 1/4 of bees left.

We baited with grape jelly and borax, no go. We tried bacon grease and boric acid. (By the way a search showed that the ratio should be 1 teaspoon boric acid to 1 cup of bait. Any more and they will smell the acid.)

We aren't sure if they went for the grease because local kids decided to steal all six of our perimeter jelly jar baits. (Time to have conversations with some local parents.)

We were going to build the stand and moats this weekend. Purchased the components last night.

We haven't had any luck finding the ant colony.
Tonight we are going to remove every patch of weeds up to the creek until we do. (Boil that ant; boil that ant!)

Oh, did I mention that the Rauchboy smoker we prepaid for never arrived. Its been over 2 months, they've told us three times it has been mailed.

This last time, I was told if we didn't' have it by Tuesday (May 23rd), to notify them. I notified late morning only to be told that their wife and already gone to USPS and overnighted one earlier in the morning. (Very suspicious as she was overnighting when I hadn't told them we hadn't received it yet.)

Its been several "overnights" and it still hasn't showed up. We've emailed, faxed and no one answers the phone. We have reported the proprietor for mail fraud.

Guess we are bull headed. We're not giving up!
 

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Hopefully your run of bad luck will end soon. Keep trying and you will get there. Best of luck.
 

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I also sent him 150 dollars for beesuits for the kids. He doesn't answer emails. If you will send me his phone and fax numbers I would greatly apreciate it. I will join you in trying to get something done with him.
 

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Try not to get too discouraged even though it's difficult. Whenever I lose a hive I try to think about these commercial folks who come out of winter with 75% of their hives as deadouts. Stick with it and you'll have success keeping bees, not to mention some great stories to tell. Just think ahead to the jars of honey sitting on your kitchen counter! Good luck.

Mike
 

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blondeone - sorry to hear about your bad run of luck.

As for the ants 1/2 inch doesn't sound like fire ants (I grew up in TX with them). For ant protection, motor oil moats work really well. An oil drain pan, a cinder block, and you can kiss those ants goodbye. Also, if there are that many of them, daub white out on one and follow them back to the nest. There you can persuade them to die. The key with the traps is to put it in the chemical paths that the ants are following. You can strip a nest of workers fairly well with a good trap. Won't kill the nest, but it'll definitely give the ants bigger problems to contend with.
 
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