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Author Topic: Bees and Motor Oil  (Read 3685 times)
Mistura Fina
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« on: October 14, 2007, 01:41:27 PM »

I read that putting the legs of the hive stand in little cups of motor oil keeps unwanted crawling preditors, such as insects and mice, out of the hive. I though I'd give it a try. After a number of days, I noticed a build-up of dead bees in the oil. In taking their dead sisters out of the hive, can the bees be putting their dead sisters in the oil, or are my good, healthy bees unwittingly committing suicide by landing on the oil? The oil suggestion came from a reputable source, but I'm beginning to wonder. Any responses or suggestions would help.
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asprince
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2007, 01:56:08 PM »

I have used this method to control fire ants. The cup of oil does not have to be very large or deep. Bees die all the time, how many are you seeing in what amount of time? A few over a period of time would be normal.

Steve
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2007, 02:14:16 PM »

The problem I have with doing this is when it rains and fills the containers full of water the motor oil goes into the ground and eventually to the water table. And if you have your own well then you get the oil back in an unhealthy manner. (Yeah I know it might take 80 years for it to reach the water table.  rolleyes )
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2007, 02:40:16 PM »

Jerrymac, We did not get much rain this year and I do not have a well........so no problem.

Seriously, you are correct. That is why I said the cup does not have to be very large or deep. I should have also said that it requires very little oil. It does not have to be motor oil; could be vegetable oil.

I have several hundred gallons of vegetable oil on hand since I burn it as fuel in my diesel trucks.   
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2007, 02:46:19 PM »

Yeah I've heard that oil in the cups works very well

I have real bad problems with ants here in L A
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2007, 02:55:37 PM »

I have had success with Grant's Ant Stakes...our hive sits atop a cinder block stand, so can't use oil...prolyl wouldn't as it is harmful if it gets into the ground...some peole use cinnamon and diatomaceous earth...
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2007, 10:24:08 PM »

for those who have tried it do you think brushing the oil on the legs of the stand would work?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2007, 10:28:21 PM »

If you must use oil, use vegetable oil; it is, at least, biodegradeable.  The idea is to use a substance that is liquid so the ants will sink into it and then suffocate so vegetable oils is just as eficient as motor oil.  Some oils are too heavy. 
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 12:48:54 AM »

>The problem I have with doing this is when it rains and fills the containers full of water the motor oil goes into the ground and eventually to the water table.

weld or nail a cover around the legs over the cups to shed any rain. this would keep bees from falling in too.
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2007, 04:39:39 PM »

didn't the oil come from the ground to begin with? seriously I like the veg oil and old timers idea.
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2007, 05:02:51 PM »

didn't the oil come from the ground to begin with? seriously I like the veg oil and old timers idea.

Yep. But it was way down there not bothering anyone. Then man came along and disturbed it and it's been causing problems ever since.
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2007, 07:25:24 PM »

I use a bead of marine grade grease around the hive stand leg.  The ants won't cross it and the rain takes a very long time to wash it away.  Just have to be mindful that it is there or you end up with it on your pant legs.
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2007, 10:02:01 PM »

I solved my ant problem by killing all the antbeds I could find, I keep the area around my hive neat and clean and it wasnt too hard to see where they were coming from.  I tried grease and oil but the ants always seem to find a way past given time. it only takes a leaf or something to make a bridge.   
 use a screen for mice.

anybody ever see some little ants in the hive that are so small you need a magnifying glass to even tell its an ant?
I see a few of them in the hive when I inspect but not large numbers of them, they look like a normal ant except very small, are these sugar ants?



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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2007, 06:32:52 AM »

The problem I have with doing this is when it rains and fills the containers full of water the motor oil goes into the ground and eventually to the water table. And if you have your own well then you get the oil back in an unhealthy manner. (Yeah I know it might take 80 years for it to reach the water table.  rolleyes )


I've read about a construction like this, but never tried it:

When the level arises as rain gets into the can and reaches the level of the top of the tube, water will start to pour out of the tube.  The top of the tube has to be lower than the top of the can.  Could this work for you?
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2007, 04:35:00 PM »

didn't the oil come from the ground to begin with? seriously I like the veg oil and old timers idea.

It is refined oil...not original black gold...and it doesn't live in the surface of the Earth, but deep below...it kills beneficial microbes, earthworms and the like, and will ulitimately end up in the watershed...where oil doesn't come from or belong.
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2007, 07:02:31 PM »

I solved my ant problem by killing all the antbeds I could find, I keep the area around my hive neat and clean and it wasnt too hard to see where they were coming from.  I tried grease and oil but the ants always seem to find a way past given time. it only takes a leaf or something to make a bridge.   
 use a screen for mice.

anybody ever see some little ants in the hive that are so small you need a magnifying glass to even tell its an ant?
I see a few of them in the hive when I inspect but not large numbers of them, they look like a normal ant except very small, are these sugar ants?

I actually don't mind a few antbeds in my bee yard.  I find that they help a lot in keeping the SHB larvae from pupating.  Even when some of the ants get by the grease, they don't seem to affect my hives unless they are extremely weak.  By that time the SHB have pretty well destroyed the chances that the hive will survive and I use the antbeds to clean all the SHB larvae out of the comb, thus ensuring that they don't get the chance to pupate.

If the small ants you are talking about are black, then I have seen them.  Some people do call them sugar ants, but I think its a pretty generic name for small ants.
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2007, 12:19:05 AM »

   I just put on some FGMO (read laxative) on my finger and apply a ring around the base of the colonies.  Applied inside and outside of the SBB, no poles but I use cinder blocks, keeps the ants and other crawlers off.  Had a really heavy rain about a week and a half ago and found cockroaches and other bugs under the cover.  Reapplied FGMO and they are no more.  Found a dead roach on the board two days later with a few bees working it off the board.  No more ants either. evil
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Mistura Fina
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2007, 09:24:04 PM »

I like the idea of vegitable oil and covers to keep the bees from falling in. Thanks one and all.
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Patrick
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2007, 01:16:04 PM »

I tried using motor oil in the past and did note bees (seemingly) flying right for it, packed with pollen, and landing in it and dying. As others here have noted when it rains it overflows and gets all over the place.  Add a bunch of dead bees to that and you get a pretty nasty funk, which is hard to clean out since the hive legs are in each pan.  I have since filled the pans with boric acid powder instead of oil and it has worked great you just have to remember to freshen it up after it rains.

Cheers,
Patrick
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2007, 09:47:27 AM »

Is boric acid a cleaner?  Wonder if it is the same as 20 Mule Team Borax that I use for washing some types of clothes?  Have a wonderful and great day, Cindi
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« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2007, 07:26:22 PM »

>Is boric acid a cleaner?

Sometimes it is sold as a cockroach killer. But it's almost always available in USP grade at the pharmacy.

> Wonder if it is the same as 20 Mule Team Borax that I use for washing some types of clothes?

Not, it's not.  But borax does have the same effect for the same reasons and can be substituted more cheaply.
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2007, 07:28:37 AM »

Boric acid is the main component in 20 Mule Team Borax.  But be careful with borax, it takes very little for it to build up in the soil, and it causes permanent damage, nothing will grow there.
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2007, 09:04:44 AM »

Ann, that is interesting and certainly worthy of deep thought and care.

In one of my seed catalogues this company advises when growing the big sunflowers for seed heads to dissolve a little boron in some water and feed the plants, I think they may need only a tiny little bit.  And I think it was like 1 tsp per cup, giving each plant only a tiny bit of this.  I would have to revisit their instructions though for stronger remembering.  Evidently the sunflowers use alot of boron to grow strong to build good flowerheads.  I haven't ever used it because I am too lazy, but it is worth some thought I would imagine, but surely, one would have to be careful of how much went into the soil for sure.  Have a wonderful day, great life on this great earth.  Cindi
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2007, 10:43:57 AM »

Cindi, I wonder if boron is the allelopathic substance sunflowers exude into the soil.  Most plants won't grow underneath a sunflower, and the hulls, if left to accumulate on the ground, will kill grass.  It's the sunflower's way of thwarting competition. 
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2007, 07:08:01 PM »

Cindi, tell me more about plants not growing under sunflowers. I had one come up in my tomato bed. It towered over my tomatoes (7-8 feet tall). My tomatoes in that are did LOUSY and I could not figure out why. Could the sunflower be the reason?
 Steve
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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2007, 07:48:20 PM »

Steve, here is an interesting explanation/discussion of allelopathy.
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2007, 09:14:13 AM »

Ann, holy smoking mackarel!!!!  Allelopathy....never heard of it and I am going to start a new thread.  You have opened up a can of worms, and now I have to do more research this winter and study this more deeply.  I was shocked at what I read, and go and read the new post that I am going to create. I have some cool thoughts.  Steve....go there too, we have lots to learn and discuss.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day in our life.  Cindi
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« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2007, 09:30:32 AM »

"here is an interesting explanation/discussion of allelopathy."

That really is a great article to read, not just for gardeners. I guess it could also be applied in a very general sense to the "toxins" sent out by some plants to repel animals and other insects. Gardeners have planted these types of plants around the edges of their gardens for a long time to keep certain animals and bugs out. Huum...I wonder if they could be used around the edges of the apiary?
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« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2007, 09:24:00 PM »

Ok, I really did open up a can of worms, didn't i?  Wink

There's a difference between repelling and allelopathy.  Plants can possess allelopathic qualities, not animals. A monarch butterfly eats milkweed, which is highly toxic, thereby acquiring the toxicity of the plant so no animal want to eat the butterfly - that's not allelopathic behavior.  Planting marigolds around a garden will repel, but not poison, certain insects that might want to do your garden harm.  Black walnut trees exude a toxin from their roots, called jugulone, that has allelopathic qualities and will kill many plants living within its dripline.  Some plants have a tolerance for it, however, and will grow just fine. 

I am going to post this same post over in Cindi's thread under the Farming section, we should continue it there, I guess!
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