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Author Topic: Nervous Newbie Battling SHB and Ants  (Read 892 times)
Jpmrmw
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Location: Pine Belt of South Mississippi


« on: September 11, 2012, 10:54:44 PM »

I've had two hives since April. Neither hive has enough honey to harvest, but I was told this is common in first year colonies. Finding Small Hive Beetles, I installed two Beetle Blaster Traps in each hive. I've just started feeding both hives sugar water using entrance feeders. Today when checking on the hives I found dead bees on the entrance boards and the ground in front of the hives. There were ants everywhere! I put out DE under the hives and on the gravel surrounding the concrete pad where the hives are located. I risked spraying the line of ants several feet from the hives to kill as many as possible before going to work. A quick peek under the garden cover revealed more ants inside and more SHB than I've noticed before too. After work, I put out ant traps and sprinkled A LOT of cinnamon inside each hive. There were no more ants visible outside except a handful on one feeder. The bees which had all been inside this morning were busy at the feeders, but the numbers seen guarding the hive etc were low for both hives. I am concerned I may lose one or both hives this winter as they have not grown as strong as I think they should have by now and in fact have been weakened by these two pests. Any suggestions for how I can help my girls before winter sets in here in Mississippi?
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Intheswamp
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Location: South Central Alabama - Zone 8A


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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 10:31:05 AM »

How many bees did you find dead?  Honey bees are very sensitive to pesticides, be *very very* careful using them around your bee hives.  From what I've read (I've never experienced it and hopefully won't) a large number of bees out in front of the hive *usually* signify pesticide poisoning.   Bees are going to die naturally so a few bees dead aren't to be worried over.

Cinnamon is good for discouraging some ants, it doesn't always work but in lots of situations it seems to.  I sprinkle it around the base of the hive stands (cement blocks in my case), around the base of the bottom boards where they sit on the blocks, underneath the hive on the ground and finally on top of the inner cover.  Very soapy water can be mixed up (cheap dish-washing  or car-washing soap) can be sprayed on ants on the ground and poured onto individual mounds...it is a good ant-killer.  Soapy water will kill bees, too, so be careful with it, but most of the time the bees will not be on the ground where you're spraying.  The soapy water isn't isn't airborne like an aerosol spray can be, the soapy water will pretty much go where it's sprayed and not drift in the air.

SHB....don't leave lots of empty space in your hives and keep your hives in FULL SUN.  Does your hives get plenty of sunshine?  Keep plenty of in-hive traps (such as your beetle blasters) in the hive.  I mix apple cider vinegar, mashed up over-ripe banana, and vegetable or mineral oil in a 16oz plastic drink bottle.  I let it sit for a couple of days, walking by and shaking it hard every so often to get everything mixed the best I can.  I use this in my Beetle Jail Jrs and they seem to catch a good many beetles.  Restricting the beetles ability to enter the hive by sealing the top off with window screen over the vent/feed holes and possibly reducing the front entrance will give the bees less of an area to have to guard.  Oil trays beneath a screened bottom board appears to catch many beetles.

Keep an eye on your colonies.  If they have been weakened by something then you have a third enemy to beware of...wax moths.  Be on guard.

Best wishes,
Ed
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 10:35:59 AM »

Oh, and one more thing....  Welcome to the forum!!!  Great folks and information here.  You might want to edit your profile by adding your location.  That way your location will show up in the header of your posts and people won't see you as "Hopelessly Lost". Wink

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
jayj200
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Location: south Florida


« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 08:16:56 AM »

welcome too!
under the hive I use short nails slathered with axle grease.
no ants to speak of now! yet the yard is teaming with them.
one thing I have noticed the girls rub themselves in it and then eat some.
any ideas?

jay
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RHBee
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Location: Pinopolis, SC

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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 05:24:59 PM »

Jay, That post is over 18mo old.
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Later,
Ray
jayj200
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Location: south Florida


« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2014, 05:56:53 PM »

Ray
you know I cant read
just happened across it and knew I could help those who also happen upon it.
thanks for the heads up.

how is your trial going
jay
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