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Author Topic: Help with ants attacking bees, please!  (Read 3589 times)

Offline AliciaH

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Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« on: June 24, 2010, 06:15:20 PM »
I have two hives being bothered by ants.  The primary problem is that the ants are not going after the sugar syrup, they are actively attacking the bees!  There is ant bait pellets on the ground around the hives and that seems to have reduced the onslaught somewhat, but the ants are still after the bees.  I have also added bait traps that use liquid (the store-bought kind).

I tried searching for solutions both on this site and others but many ant bait solutions are based on the ants loving sweet stuff.  These ants are bypassing the baits used so far and are just going directly for the bees.

I noticed that Borax was mentioned quite a bit.  Could I sprinkle straight Borax on the ground around the hives?  Would that stop the ants without bothering the bees?

Anybody have any ideas?  Both hives are very small; they were doing okay before this but really don't have the numbers to defend and continue building at the same time.  I fear that if the ants make another major attack like they did the first day, I'll lose both groups.

Thanks for whatever help you might give!

Offline John Schwartz

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 06:23:36 PM »
try cinnamon -- they *hate* the stuff. just sprinkle some around the areas they are accessing the hive. works great.
--John Schwartz :)

Offline jgaito

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2010, 06:31:40 PM »
i tracked them down last night and applied a controlled burn with a propane torch.  since they follow an established trail the remaining ants will have to find the hive on their own.   i concreted in a four leg pedestal for my hives and i regret not mounting them on a single round metal post.   maybe i'll do that in the early fall.

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2010, 07:04:28 PM »
lotsobees:  I've tried cinnamon in the past without much luck.  But at the time, the ants were after the sugar water.  Maybe these ants will be more deterred by the cinnamon.  It's worth a shot, thanks for the reminder!

jgaito:  I tried to track the ants back to their colony, but they are coming from the woods so no luck.  Would have been nice to eliminate them from the source, though! 

I've read about hives on legs that were placed in buckets of water.  I'm going to play with that idea a bit for future problems.  These two hives are on bricks, so am thinking more along the idea of painting the bricks with something.  What, though, I haven't figured out yet, especially since I don't want the bees on it.

Offline hardwood

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2010, 07:27:05 PM »
Paint grease or Vaseline on your bricks (blocks?). They won't cross it.

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2010, 08:35:32 PM »
Scott:  Just need to clarify about the grease.  You mean the kind you use to lubricate engines?

Offline hardwood

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2010, 01:18:52 AM »
What's normally referred to as "axle grease".

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2010, 01:41:43 AM »
one part borax, one part water, one part grape jelly...
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2010, 04:06:09 PM »
Just want to say, "THANK YOU!" to everyone for your wonderful suggestions!  I was truly at a loss when it was apparant that the ants wanted the bees and not the syrup.

What I ended up doing was taking a piece of plywood and painting one entire side with Vaseline.  I put the Vaseline side-down on the bricks.  As for the bricks, I ended up painting a stripe around those with something I found in my barn - RainMaker.  It's a substance used to condition horses' hooves, but includes ingrediants like white petrolatum, pine tar, and other sticky stuff.

Today is cloudy and cool and there are no ants, but on the next sunny day I have no doubt that they will be back.  I'll be sure to let you all know how this works out.

Thanks, again!

Offline Davzbeez

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 06:11:32 PM »
Will the borax also help with cockroaches?
Deformis Sed Suspendium

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Offline gwalker314

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Re: Help with ants attacking bees, please!
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 10:00:22 AM »
I agree with Hardwood's suggestion. I have painted the blocks or bricks with axle grease. After the last area political election I grabbed some of the discarded political signs and cut them a bit larger than the cinder blocks then sandwiched them between 2 blocks. I smeared grease on 1 side of the sign facing down and the ant problems went away. Cheap & easy!

GW

 

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