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Author Topic: The school of hard knocks -- bee poisoning  (Read 1859 times)

Offline Cindi

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The school of hard knocks -- bee poisoning
« on: June 11, 2007, 10:43:26 AM »
Well, sometimes I am of the opinion that I am my own worst enemy.  Something happened to one of my colonies that I am almost embarrassed to speak about.  But it is necessary to impart these experiences to other friends on this forum, so you don't make any of the same mistakes that I have (and probably will be more  :roll:).

I have talked about the teeny tiny little ants that live around my apiary.  Well, Mrs. SmartiePants thought that she would give the bees a helping hand.  So I put two ant bait traps under two of the colonies, some distance apart.  My hives sit on individual bricks so there is quite a large space beneath.

The bees had not been able to fly for a few days because of rainy weather. On Saturday morning, the sun was shining.  I was going to do work with the colonies, several needed their second box.  I was out looking at the hives and noticed that one had many dead bees on the ground, on the front landing board were many more looking horrible and very weak, dying.  Oh for goodness sake!!!!!  Alarm, fear, sadness.

I wondered for a moment and looked closely.  The dead bees had wings expanded and the proboscus sticking out.  I know from training, that this is one sure sign of pesticide poisoning.

Oh no, I wondered and wondered and suddenly came to my mind.  It must be the ant bait traps.  The opening to the traps are far too small for a bee to climb into.  I thought of that when I placed the traps under the hives.  I thought it would be a safe place.  But right, bees have a long tongue.  A bee (or several) must have discovered the sweet poison with the confines of these little ant bait traps and thought it would make great treasures for their hive. 

So now my work began.  I removed the ant bait traps, scraped and picked up all the debris, dirt, grass and dead bees from this hive.  Proceeded to the other hive (thank goodness this colony had not discovered the trap) and cleaned the area impecably, just as I had to the poisoned hive.  The areas are spotless and I know for sure there is narry a piece or remanent of any kind of poison for the poor girls.

Living life and learning lessons.  I will not ever entertain the thought of any kind of pesticide/herbicide on my property.  I do not practice either of these methods of weed and pest control here, ever, anyways.  I should never have used ant bait traps.

Listen to my experience, learn from it.  There are many methods of a more natural ant control, I know many members have severe ant problems.  There is good talk on this forum of ant control, heed their advices.

I think that I probably lost about 400 bees to this negligence.  I watched this colony over the next two days (that was the day before yesterday) and all seems well. It was probably just the bees that came out to greet the deliverers of the yummy death that were affected.  I saw no more dead bees.

Love this life you're livin', learn your lessons well.  Have a wonderful day.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline sean

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Re: The school of hard knocks -- bee poisoning
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2007, 10:51:49 AM »
sorryto hear that cindi. I had a similar experience recently, I had sprinkled ants powder around the hives and shortly after started seeing dead bess around which i dont normally see, the thing is i am still not sure if it was the ants pwder killing them or varroa mite infestation which i subsequently found out that i had 2 or so weeks later.

Offline mark

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Re: The school of hard knocks -- bee poisoning
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2007, 08:44:00 PM »
i have found that sonny and mel's hive beetle trap works on ants too.

Offline annette

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Re: The school of hard knocks -- bee poisoning
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2007, 02:33:53 PM »

The Sacramento Beekeeping Store sells these Tero Ant Traps to place around the hive. I went and bought a few of them but it did not feel right to me and I changed my mind and never used them. I will let the store know what happened to you.

Cindi, I received your e mail but due to the crisis with my dying hive, I haven't been in the mood to read anything except about how to help my bees. Will get to it and respond back soon.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 11:53:59 PM by annette »

Offline Kirk-o

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Re: The school of hard knocks -- bee poisoning
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2007, 07:58:52 PM »
I have the worst ants in the world here in L A .I have had colonies abscond because of bees.I took Michael Bush's advice .I mixed some grape jelly with the ant powder boraic acid I think it is.I then cover it with a piece of card board.The ants find it take it home it kills all of them.But since I quit feeding my beees very little ant trouble
"It's not about Honey it's not about Money It's about SURVIVAL" Charles Martin Simmon

Offline doak

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Re: The school of hard knocks -- bee poisoning
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 01:58:37 AM »
If you don't have too many colonies have someone make some hive stands out of 3/4 or 1 inch iron pipe.
Galvinized or black iron either one will do. Or you can use small angle iron. Just 4 legs connected by 4 side pieces at the top.
Get the pic.
 Now put each leg in a bean can fill half with old moter oil.
You can put something over them to keep rain water out or just take rags and wick the rain water out when it gets much in the cans.
Over time you may loose a few bees in the cans, but there won't be any ants in the hive.