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Author Topic: how do you kill ants, but not bees?  (Read 6314 times)
Enyo
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« on: July 23, 2010, 02:45:15 AM »

Me and my brother have 3 backyard hives, and we also have a huge problem with insect pests. The two main culprits of annoyance and destruction to our yard are ants (at least 3 different varieties that i can identify) and earwigs (which are eating all of my plants and flowers).  i have been trying to control them with diatomacious earth which has proved only meagerly successful, and even though I am only using it away from the hives and only on the ground I still find the lovely lady bees rolling around in it.  I have been reading up on using boric acid to help control the ants, but I'm afraid of the bees getting in that too....  Does anyone have any good suggestions on ant/earwig control without hurting the bees?


Enyo
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mdaniels
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2010, 05:24:40 AM »

I had a nest of black ants locate themselves inside of the telescoping lid.  I heeded the advice of other beeks, although secretly wondering if it would really work--and poured cinammon all over the lid and inner cover.  All ants vacated within the week, like magic.  I used ALOT. 
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AliciaH
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2010, 10:20:49 AM »

A couple of weeks ago, I was on this site asking for help with ants, too.  The little buggers were attacking my bees and it was an ugly sight.  The hive in trouble was using to 16x8x8 bricks for stands, so the suggestion I was given worked, but you may need to modify it based on what your hives are sitting on:

Take a piece of plywood and paint the one side of it with vaseline.  Place the plywood face down on the bricks (so the vaseline is facing the grass, dirt, whatever) and put the hive on top.  The ants can't get through the vaseline because they get stuck and since the vaseline is on the underside, the bees don't need to land in it to get to the hive.

The only thing I added to this suggestion was that I painted a stripe around the bricks using some hoof (as in horse) treatment that contains a petrolium product.  You could probably use old motor oil for that.  The ants didn't seem to like trying to get through it and the vaseline ended up being a nice back up.

Good luck!
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doak
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2010, 03:23:28 PM »

A little cost to begin with.
Have some one who welds to make some metal stands out of 1/2 inch metal pipe or angle iron.
Place each leg in a 3 lb coffee can or the large fruit juice cans. fill about half full of used motor oil.
one inch pvc pipe may work. bean cans may work. :)doak
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greenbtree
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2010, 01:08:40 AM »

I have a question about the oil in cans around the legs of the stand.  How do you deal with rain filling up the cans and possibly floating the oil out?

JC
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Storm
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2010, 12:05:33 PM »

This is not an instant-cure, but works well as a long-term cure for the ant problem.

There are two products I know of that will kill an ant queen, but not a bee queen.  The first is instant grits.  Make sure you get instant, not old fashioned or 5-minute.  The ants carry them back to the nest, and feed them to the others.  When mixed with the formic acid in their stomachs, the grits expand, killing the ants.  Sooner or later, the queen eats one and dies.  Slow, but eventually effective if you are persistent.  The second one is Tarro ant bait.  It is a liquid that comes either in a container that only an ant can crawl into, or in a bottle that you use to dot the liquid onto a piece of paper to leave out for the ants to find.  Try to find the former, as it is bee-proof.  Break off one of the plastic containers and leave near the ants' nest, then replace as needed until the ants are all dead.
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dragonmaster765
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 12:06:30 PM »

I have a question about the oil in cans around the legs of the stand.  How do you deal with rain filling up the cans and possibly floating the oil out?

JC

You have to siphon out the new water and refill the cans with more oil.

I think. BTW, I'm going to be a new beekeeper come next spring. Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 02:01:57 AM »

A tuperware container with 1/8" holes drilled in it will work well.  Put 1 part borax, 1 part water and 1 part jelly in it...
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Michael Bush
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 12:35:31 PM »

JC
[/quote]

You have to siphon out the new water and refill the cans with more oil.

I think. BTW, I'm going to be a new beekeeper come next spring. Smiley
[/quote]

Nothing like a mouthful of nast sludge/water to get you started in the morning huh?  grin  I think I'll just stick with liberal treatments of cinnamon for now.
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beee farmer
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 03:04:58 PM »

How do you kill ants, but not bees?
uhhhh........ Very Carefully?Huh
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BWC
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2011, 10:56:06 AM »

I read in a birding magazine once that if you put grass clippings around the base of your bird feeder, the ants will stay out. Tried it around my hive and it seems to be working. 
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AllenF
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 01:39:11 PM »

I have had fire ants nest in bales of hay and they are everywhere in yards here.   I don't see how grass clippings would stop them.
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Keith13
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2011, 02:50:21 PM »

talstar works use the granular got rid of my ant problem I see no noticable effects on my bees

Keith
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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2011, 05:16:33 PM »

What about diazinon granules sprinkles on the ground around the hive?
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donaldsharpeusaf
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2011, 05:50:02 PM »

I had the same problem with the tiniest black ants I have ever seen.  I bought some of those hive stands that have the legs with the cups built in, and they are also a screened bottom board made from a (supposedly) UV resistant plastic.  I put a small amount of vegetable oil in the cups and it has worked like a charm.  No more ants.  The rain has been torrential here at times and I haven't had a problem with them being overrun.  Even if they do get overrun, I don't think the ants like to swim anyway...  I have my hives on a haywagon so they are easy to work/inspect and away from the skunks.  I don't move them.
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qa33010
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2011, 01:10:15 AM »

I have, and still do, use a band of fgmo smeared in a band around the base of the hive.  If there is any thing that may allow access above this band needs to be removed or coated also.  I have had a fellow beek recommend petroleum jelly smeared in the same way.  This has been effective in keeping web worms off trees as well (the petroleum jelly part)
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joebrown
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2011, 02:29:45 AM »

I had an old timer tell me that he melts menthol in canola oil and then soaks small pieces of cloth or rags in the oil/menthol mix. He places a small piece of cloth or rag on top of the inner cover . He said he never has problems with ants anymore. I will note that he uses only solid inner covers. No holes or screens. I have never tried this personally.
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rober
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2011, 01:04:35 PM »

" How do you deal with rain filling up the cans and possibly floating the oil out?"

what if you used water instead of oil. as a kid i remember my grandma putting the sugar bowl on a saucer of water to keep the ants out. ( old time farmer families were a lot more tolerant of bugs ). maybe add cinnamon to the water
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JoanneMarie
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2011, 11:34:22 PM »

" How do you deal with rain filling up the cans and possibly floating the oil out?"

what if you used water instead of oil. as a kid i remember my grandma putting the sugar bowl on a saucer of water to keep the ants out. ( old time farmer families were a lot more tolerant of bugs ). maybe add cinnamon to the water

Water will attract the bees, and lots of them drown.  I used cinnamon around the base of my stand and it works. (It's a welded stand with 1/2" pipe.)  I went to our local WinCo grocery store, which has a huge selection of bulk foods, and bought a pound of cinnamon for $4.  I only have an ant problem when I'm feeding the bees.

Joanne
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Joanne Marie
preston39
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2011, 12:17:51 AM »

I have a question about the oil in cans around the legs of the stand.  How do you deal with rain filling up the cans and possibly floating the oil out?

JC
==========
Prepare 2 half moon shaped pieces of aluminum sheet, longer than the can used for the leg and install them around the leg about 3-4" above the top of the can. Sort of an umbrella.
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I'm  Preston
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