I checked my hives today and I have carpenter ants all over one of my hives and starting in a second.
The ants were on top of the inner cover and in the slide out drawer of my SBB. They seem to like it in the debrie. They have begun chewing on my supers. I hope I can save these hives. I have no idea where their nest is. My bees are next to a woods.
My hives are on cement blocks. I'm going to build a stand tomorrow with legs and use the oil in a bucket treatment. It would be cool if there is anyone nearby who has any extra stands already available. I don't have the time to build stnda, but if I'm going to save my bees, I'll guess I'll have to do it.
Since they are massing on the slide out wood tray under the screen on the SBB, they can't get into the hive through the screen unless they chew through a wood area. My main concern is them getting into the hives through the hole in the inner cover. The bees are packages I installed on April 30.
What if I took out the tray altogether? Would the brood get chilled? I'm in Minnesota and the nights are still getting down into the 50s. I was keeping it in to check mites and help keep the new package warm for the brood. If I did take the tray out the ants couldn't mass there, would they just move into the hive then?
I suppose my answer is the hive stand and oil.
Thanks for listening. I'm disappointed. I've never had such trouble with my bees before. I'm especially troubled because my young 10 year-old protege's family put a good deal of money into getting set-up. I'd hate to see them have a bad experience for their first try.