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This is my first year. I have had a really hard start by capturing a swarm. Let them sit too long and had laying workers. Got that fixed. Caught second swarm will check tomorrow on them. Wed the first swarm swarmed because of ants. Managed to get them back will check on the new queen in that one tomorrow. I am having a bad ant problem. Got some DE and seems to be helping. Everyone talks about strong flows and not feeding. I would like to remove the feeders to help with the ants. When can I stop feeding? How can you tell when a "flow" is going or not and how to time when to start/stop feeding?

Thanks for the help.
 

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sprinkle cinnamon all around your bee hives including around the feeders. Bees don't mind and it works ...plain ole cinnamon keeps the ants away
 

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I tend to feed mine until they stop going through a quart in a 2 day period. Usually that means I am feeding until June and then start back up in September (located in Northern Indiana). Wishing you good luck with your swarms!
 

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I stop feeding as soon as the first necter starts coming in. I may not start until near frost.
Dandilion bloom here signify's first necter.

Hives that I start in the summer get fed so they can build up for winter.
 

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I'm afraid you may have to feed those swarms for quite a little while. We are coming to the end of our honey flow and entering our summer dearth. The only thing that may save you from feeding as much will be Cabbage palm if you have many around. But, they are still a month away from blooming. I would keep feeding until you get them to fill up a single deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm afraid you may have to feed those swarms for quite a little while. We are coming to the end of our honey flow and entering our summer dearth. The only thing that may save you from feeding as much will be Cabbage palm if you have many around. But, they are still a month away from blooming. I would keep feeding until you get them to fill up a single deep.
Thanks that is what I was after and you are close enough to me that it should be about the same here. So since they have no stores I should just keep feeding correct?

sprinkle cinnamon all around your bee hives including around the feeders. Bees don't mind and it works ...plain ole cinnamon keeps the ants away
The ants did not even slow up with cinnamon. They got so bad they actually drove one hive out of the box. I got them back though.

Thanks for all the responses. I am sure I will have a lot more questions as this journey continues.
 

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What are you using for a hive stand? My brother welded up some nice ones out of angle iron and square tubing (now he's using just angle iron) that raises the bottom board up 16" or so. Nicely painted the ants aren't so likely to climb up since it's slick, should keep mice out for the same reason (too hard to climb). We put concrete pavers under the stand, so there is no vegetation for the ants to climb up, too.

As far as feeding goes, use a hivetop feeder with a closely fitting cover, this will go a long way to keeping ants out as they must go through the hive to get to the syrup. The bees can usually keep out the scout ants so they never find the goodies and don't infest the hive. Also prevents robbing and drowning.

I always feed swarms and packages until they are either up to winter size (two deeps or the equivalent here) and/or they start foraging enough they don't need supplemental feeding. This varies with the time of year and the particular hive, some forage just fine and others need help. My goal is a hive to heavy to lift with strong bees at the beginning of October since they should have raised all the winter bees by then and be going into winter operations. Again, some hives need feeding and some don't, just depends. We are in a huge flow right now, so I'm not feeding anything and my brother started some packages using the stores from a deadout and has a full honey super and will be adding more drawn comb today, his bees are bearding already. No feeding there! Sadly the spring flow is going to taper off quite a bit soon, and we may have to resort to feeding the rest of the packages we installed this year as they are not anywhere near that strong.

Keep an eye on them, and if they quit foraging I would start feeding again to keep them strong and up to weight for winter.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What are you using for a hive stand? My brother welded up some nice ones out of angle iron and square tubing (now he's using just angle iron) that raises the bottom board up 16" or so. Nicely painted the ants aren't so likely to climb up since it's slick, should keep mice out for the same reason (too hard to climb). We put concrete pavers under the stand, so there is no vegetation for the ants to climb up, too.

As far as feeding goes, use a hivetop feeder with a closely fitting cover, this will go a long way to keeping ants out as they must go through the hive to get to the syrup. The bees can usually keep out the scout ants so they never find the goodies and don't infest the hive. Also prevents robbing and drowning.

I always feed swarms and packages until they are either up to winter size (two deeps or the equivalent here) and/or they start foraging enough they don't need supplemental feeding. This varies with the time of year and the particular hive, some forage just fine and others need help. My goal is a hive to heavy to lift with strong bees at the beginning of October since they should have raised all the winter bees by then and be going into winter operations. Again, some hives need feeding and some don't, just depends. We are in a huge flow right now, so I'm not feeding anything and my brother started some packages using the stores from a deadout and has a full honey super and will be adding more drawn comb today, his bees are bearding already. No feeding there! Sadly the spring flow is going to taper off quite a bit soon, and we may have to resort to feeding the rest of the packages we installed this year as they are not anywhere near that strong.

Keep an eye on them, and if they quit foraging I would start feeding again to keep them strong and up to weight for winter.

Peter
Thanks for the help. My stand is made out of 2x6 and 4x4 legs. I have them on pavers and treat the ground with weed killer. I have a REAL problem with sugar ants here. I treated my whole yard Triazicide on Sat. and came home to the ants infiltrating the house like a conquering army. The angle iron idea may work better could you send some pics and plans?

Thanks
 

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I just installed some of the liquid ant traps around my hives, bees cant get into them, got them at a Tractor Supply store, seem to working fine haven't seen an ant on a hive for a day now, installed them on Sunday, get the little green ones that have a little stake built in for pushing into the ground, and get lots of them
rand
 

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I am trying to think of who it was that put grease traps on each supporting post to control ants. Maybe odfrank? someone in CA.
 

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you can cut out a gallon milk jugs and place them under your stand legs, then fill them with mineral oil. if no grass or weeds are touching above the jugs then ants can not get in. I had to do 1 year when the sugar ants were so bad here. I would probably feed them for awhile unless you have a good flow. Good luck.
 

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I forgot to say if you use the milk jugs and oil, you will have a few bees to get in and drown. I never had more than a couple a day get in on the ones by the hive entrance. I don't like to use them unless ants are bad.
 
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