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Author Topic: What damage do ants do?  (Read 4259 times)
reinbeau
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« on: May 25, 2008, 04:06:56 PM »

We've got a huge problem with those black medium sized ants (not carpenter ants) in one of our new package hives - it's the same one the hive next door url=http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,14664.0.html]moved into on April 22[/url].  There are ants all over the inner cover and down one side every time I open the hive.

Do ants kill or harm the bees  or larvae?  The bees don't seem to be doing much about them, but they're surely invading the hive.  What can we do besides cinnamon (which isn't doing much this time).  We can't use legs and oil in cans, our hive stands are made of blocks and wood.  There are four hives side by side, only this one on the left end is having a problem.  Advice?
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2008, 04:28:37 PM »

Anne, I've had some acrobat ants move in and they are a real pain. Only thing I can think of is borid acid mixed with someting sweet like jelly or sweet n sour sauce, placed inside of something the ants can get inside of. Can't say  if the bees could sense the boric acid, but once the ants find it, it does pretty well.

Mix say 1 part boric acid powder or borax with say 5 parts jelly, sweet n sour sauce.

They are really, really aggravating to us and I believe the bees. I think they may have caused a few of my colonies to swarm out on me.

Please report back, and good luck!

...JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2008, 10:15:04 PM »

Usually I don't have any problems with ants.  If they aren't IN the hive proper I just ignore them.  I don't care if they are on the inner cover etc.
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Michael Bush
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eivindm
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2008, 02:40:17 AM »

I have had a little ant fight this year.   I placed my apiary at a place where I later discovered there was a ant hive 10-15 meters away.  I used the oil can trick which worked very well (except it drowned a lot of hevy loaded bees that hit the oil).

I got a tip from a seasoned beekeeper that said flour in a ring around the bee hive could help as ants don't like walking on flour.  I guess this will only help if it is dry and no rain.  I have never tried this and can't say how well it works.

I don't know what kind of ants you have there, but the "forrest ants" we've got here in Norway eat the larvae, and if the problem is huge enough, they destroy a hive in a few days.  The problems persists until the ants find other food sources in late may.  Strong hives usually handles the ants, but the weak don't.  A lot of ants inside the hive is a very bad sign.  But again; this is the theory of the ants we've got in Norway.  Hard to say about yours as I don't know the differences of the ant species.

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reinbeau
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2008, 06:29:00 AM »

eivindm, that's the problem.  These ants are in the hive, and I've seen them carrying larvae - the bees are in the center of the super (it's only two mediums) and do fight with the ants, but they seem to be able to go about the outter edges without being challenged too much.  The hive is obviously weak, I don't know what to do to help them.
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eivindm
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2008, 06:52:38 AM »

I'm not an expert here, but I guess you have these choices:  Move the hives a long distance to a place without these ants nearby. Or; change the hive stand, so you can put the legs in oil cans.

A third possible solution is to find all ant hives within 100 meters, and use ant poison to kill the ants.  I bought some poison, but freaked out of the warnings on the label as the hives are near drinking water.  I went for the oil cans instead and it worked using corn oil.

A problem with oil cans is that if they get filled with water, the oil gets out, and if you get warm dry weather after this, the can can get empty.  Here is a picture of a oil can that has a tube to let the water (and not the oil) out if it rains heavily. It is also crucial that no grass, twigs, leafs or such creates a bridge for the ants if you use oil cans.

Good luck
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2008, 08:29:44 AM »

Anne, I've had some acrobat ants move in and they are a real pain. Only thing I can think of is borid acid mixed with someting sweet like jelly or sweet n sour sauce, placed inside of something the ants can get inside of. Can't say  if the bees could sense the boric acid, but once the ants find it, it does pretty well.

Mix say 1 part boric acid powder or borax with say 5 parts jelly, sweet n sour sauce.

They are really, really aggravating to us and I believe the bees. I think they may have caused a few of my colonies to swarm out on me.

Please report back, and good luck!

...JP

You can take some pieces of colorplast and mix the boric acid jelly combo inside the colorplast and place it somewhere, perhaps under the hive, best would be in between a top cover and inner cover.


...JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2008, 10:52:39 AM »

If I need to get rid of ants, I use 1 part borax, 1 part water and 1 part jelly (the cheaper the jelly the better).  Mix well and put where the ants will find it.  I usuall try to put it where the bees won't.  One way to accomplish this is to put it in a #8 hardware cloth cage or put it on the ant hill.
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Michael Bush
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mark
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2008, 11:27:35 AM »

put the bottom board on blocks smeared completely with petroleum jelly aka vaseline.  ants won't cross it
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reinbeau
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2008, 08:04:27 AM »

I've been going out to that hive two or three times a day and physically removing the ants.  They're usually on or around the top inner cover, I whip off the telescoping cover and immediately take off the inner - the bees don't seem to mind this at all.  The amount of ants has been gradually dropping with each 'whip'.  I think the number of bees has increased, too, they're fighting them off better.  There's hope yet!
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JP
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2008, 08:16:25 AM »

I've been going out to that hive two or three times a day and physically removing the ants.  They're usually on or around the top inner cover, I whip off the telescoping cover and immediately take off the inner - the bees don't seem to mind this at all.  The amount of ants has been gradually dropping with each 'whip'.  I think the number of bees has increased, too, they're fighting them off better.  There's hope yet!


Ann, whip it!



...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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reinbeau
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2008, 10:27:13 AM »

 cheesy  JP, how did you know that's what I was thinking?!  cheesy
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JP
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2008, 10:28:30 AM »

cheesy  JP, how did you know that's what I was thinking?!  cheesy

 Wink


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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qa33010
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2008, 06:27:01 PM »

I still use FGMO and smear a line around my boxes.  The ants don't go inside the hive as the bees keep them out, but I have found them in a super of honey on the hive and that's when I started the 'REPEL WAR' to keep them out with minimal damage to the ground and hives. 

By around I mean on the boxes, not the ground.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2008, 06:30:21 PM »

This is my weapon of choice against ants -I use it against those argentine ants -40lb sack lasts about one year in larger yards and bees dont get into it -RDY-B   http://www.nisuscorp.com/portal/page/portal/Nisus/categories/pmp/products/niban
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2008, 06:41:19 PM »

Get rid of the ants nest otherwise they kill the hive. 

I use something call Webzone which can be poured on the ants nest as opposed to spraying.  Very effective. We have meat ants hovering on the fringes of the property which are nasty - they will carry off anything that stand stills for a moment. I show no mercy.

But even the small black ants can desimate a colony once they addicted to the sucrose.
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