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Author Topic: Red Ants Attacking!  (Read 1820 times)
Zamboy13
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« on: March 19, 2011, 12:41:28 PM »

What do I do to stop ants from attacking the hive? Their competing with the sugar syrup and once a bee gets injured during flight and falls down (upside down where the bee can't move around) they immediately attack the bee. A couple of giant red ants versus one bee is a sure loss for the bee. After they kill their prey, they carry the bee's carcass into wherever their ant hill is. I can't find the ant hill.
Obviously I can't use any insecticide. I tried pouring used cooking oil on the base of the table where I mounted my hive because I've noticed that they crawl up the hive through the base of the table but once the oil dries up, the ants keep coming especially when there's sugar syrup. I'm worried that eventually the ants might invade the inside of the hive and kill the brood or something like that.
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 02:19:43 PM »

Buy a box of Borax, or Boraxo, at you local grocery store. Mix half Borax and half sugar. Place it under a board or something near the hive where the bees cannot get to it. The ants will carry it into their nest and kill the whole colony.
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rast
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 05:51:33 PM »

 First, I don't mind ants under the hive stand. I like to think they get any SHB larva that hits the ground.
 I lost a couple of small weak hives to what we call bull ants. About 3/8" long and 1/8 diameter.
  I mixed the solution that IDDEE suggested in the above post and put in a plastic coffee can with a snap on lid. It had 3/16 holes drilled in it about an inch up. I smeared a little pure sugar water on the lower part for bait. It got rid of the bull ants and bout a million fire ants after about 3 treatments.
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Zamboy13
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 11:49:36 PM »

Thank you iddee and rast for the info. I will try that.
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Zamboy13
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2011, 05:44:41 AM »

I've been observing my bees and the evil red ants attacking them. I noticed a peculiar ant behavior. When a bee lands on the ground and seems distracted, an ant tries to "hijack" the bee. huh  I know its weird. For whatever reason, ants actually ride on the bee! Of course, the bee immediately tries to get rid of the ants by flying high and then crashes down on the floor. This crash must be so hard on the ants that they loose grip of their bee ride and then the bee flies away unhurt but sometimes, if there's too many ants, the bee gets badly injured and ends up a snack for the ants. 
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2011, 05:39:54 PM »

Sprinkling cinnamon around the hive (& I put some on the top board) if the ants aren't at problem levels yet keeps ants away. - The scent of the cinnamon messes up the ants' scent navigation. if the hive is already overrun with ants it may be too late.
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Zamboy13
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 01:03:46 PM »

Thanks for this info. I shall try the cinnamon approach.
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ccar2000
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 09:40:39 PM »

My hives are on a couple of 4x4 rails set on concrete blocks. I put diatomaceous earth around the blocks and the ants go away. You have to replace the DE after a lot of wind or rain.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 09:55:11 PM »

I don't know what you have your bee hive sitting on, but if the ants stay persistant, you can try what someone here taught me. 

Take a piece of plywood and paint one side with vaseline.  Put the plywood, vaseline side down, on whatever stand you are using and place your hive on the top (the dry side).  The plywood acts as additional landing space for the bees, but the ants have to crawl through the vaseline coming or going and get stuck. 

It worked for me and got any action happening up at the hive level shut down pretty quick.  Good luck!
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 10:30:10 PM »

I don't know what you have your bee hive sitting on, but if the ants stay persistant, you can try what someone here taught me. 

Take a piece of plywood and paint one side with vaseline.  Put the plywood, vaseline side down, on whatever stand you are using and place your hive on the top (the dry side).  The plywood acts as additional landing space for the bees, but the ants have to crawl through the vaseline coming or going and get stuck. 

It worked for me and got any action happening up at the hive level shut down pretty quick.  Good luck!
This is the first time I've seen this trick. I like the cinnamon (and it smells great) but this looks much more promising.
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annette
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 12:49:34 AM »

I use cinnamon and it works for me, but I am sure it depends on the sort of ants you have and how many have gotten in.
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Zamboy13
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 02:29:54 AM »

I have eradicated the "evil" ants. Thanks a lot for all the great ideas.  I'm sure other new beekeepers will find these clever ways you've mentioned very helpful. - (borax application, cinnamon approach, diatomaceous earth method, and vaseline on a plywood technique)
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