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Ant Control

 
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exmar
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Apr 2014
Posts: 28
Location: SE Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 1:17 am    Post subject: Ant Control Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

Newbie here, have one langstroth hive which is doing well, two others set up nearby and baited with lemon grass oil (tissue in zip loc bag with a few pin holes). There is a large ant colony about 15 feet away with large ants. The active colony is dealing with any ant issues very well. The two "trap hives" keep getting ants trying to start colonies on top of the ...hive top...(wood with oval hole in the middle which sets under the actual hive cover). When I check the hives find ants in the corners of the hive top with clusters of small white things, presumably eggs. Shake them off to remove. Have baited very generously with instant grits (finely ground white corn meal) which is supposedly eco-friendly and when ingested by ants, expands killing them. Theoretically, some of this will eventually be carried back to the "mother hive" and when ingested by the queen kills her.

From reading in other forums, have also deployed some Terro ant traps (liquid in a container which only ants can get access to) which attracts and kills them. These are placed around the base of the two vacant hives, three in total.

To date, none of the above seems to have had any influence on the ants at all. While I do occassionally get stung by a bee, ant bites are much more common of late. Perhaps I'm being overzealous in trying to protect the bees, but with all the other issues facing them, any small thing I can do, I will.

The hives are set up in a small grove of locust to provide shade and some shelter. Interestingly, locust is a wood which was preferred to use as fence posts as it lasted a long time due to inherent oils which repelled insects and acted as a preservative. I recalled (too late) that when cutting locust for posts, we always had issues with ants as they were always around.

Suggestions?

Thanks for your time,

Ev
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exmar
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Apr 2014
Posts: 28
Location: SE Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clarification: "baited very generously" in the main post meant on the ground on and around the large ant hill and to a lesser extent at the base of the hives.

Didn't want anyone to think I was ant baiting up in the hives themselves.

Ev
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Bugscouter
Silver Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 808
Location: USA/California/ Sacramento

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

exmar,

The control measures you mentioned didn't work because they are designed for sweet loving ants. Your larger ants are probably meat eaters.

A healthy bee colony can probably handle defending against these larger ants, however, I'm concerned that they are getting into your bait hive. The formic acid they leave behind may have rendered your bait hive useless.

Ron
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exmar
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Apr 2014
Posts: 28
Location: SE Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, how do I deal with "meat eating" ants? Trying not to use any harsh chemical insecticide for obvious reasons.

Thanks for the response, it does make sense.

Ev
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Bugscouter
Silver Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 808
Location: USA/California/ Sacramento

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

exmar, I'm not really sure how other than chemicals. They don't bother the bees or get into my home so I like having them in the garden messing with the plant eaters.

One thing you might try. Mix a couple of tablespoons of dish washing liquid with a quart of water and spray the trails. You may kill a few ants, but more importantly you'll mess with the scent trails. Maybe you can direct them away from you hives until the girls get going.

Ron
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DesertDisciple
New Bee


Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Lucerne Valley, CA USA

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I'm new so take anything I suggest with a grain of salt.

Have you heard of DE? (diatamacious earth) it is supposed to be a very Eco-friendly insect control agent. It works physically rather than chemically. Basically it is silica, which acts like knives to an exoskeleton. I would not suggest getting this too near your hives as it would affect bees equally.

My idea would be to form a ring of the stuff around the existing ant nest and even in the entrance. You'd essentially be barricading them in, starving them out. Just an idea.
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HowToBee
New Bee


Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Rome, Italy

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure if it's true at all, but I heard if you sprinkle ground cinnamon around the hive and on the top of it, ants tend to stay away from hives.

Perhaps it's important to note for the future that ants typically are attracted to hives because of the sugar syrup we put in them, as not only is it food to the bees but also the ants.

Hope this helps :)
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