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Carpenter Ants

Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:43 pm
by p51d
I have several hives on a farm which attract carpenter ants.

All the hives kicked the bucket over the winter but I have gotten a swarm back into one. Others await new packages when they are available.

The little ants march up the outside to the inner cover, whenever I work the bees, I knock the ants off but to no avail. Next week, and they are back.

Is there anything I can do with bees in the box? The other boxes are side by side with the same issue...

Ant killer stakes in the ground? I don't want to poison the bees.

Re: Carpenter Ants

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:28 am
by Jacobs
Most of the ants in this area are more of a bother than a threat to the honey bees. I have had ants take residence in inner covers before, but they did not seem to be a problem for healthy, active colonies. When I see ants marching into a colony of bees, it is usually a sign that something bad is going on with that colony and I need to see if I can get in and fix it.

I do keep a bottle of cinnamon oil (artificial cassia oil) that I can apply with q-tips. Ants will not cross cinnamon and I have used this to stop a parade of ants from going into my observation hive at times. I don't know if a little bit of cinnamon powder on the inner cover would slow ants from that direction. I haven't tried it. The powder does not stay put/last long in the exposed outdoor environment.

Hopefully, someone will have some ideas about how to safely deal with foraging ants.

Re: Carpenter Ants

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:39 am
by Wally
What I have found is, "inner lid flat side up, ants take over." "inner lid, flat side down, ants no problem."
No hole in home made inner lid, ants destroy the hive.

Re: Carpenter Ants

Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:04 pm
by p51d
I tried the Jacob's cinnamon oil as a test and will report back with the results. Thanks Jacob and Wally for the responses.

Happy Easter to the beekeepers

Re: Carpenter Ants

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:13 pm
by JDavis
I have been fighting the same problem. Two weeks ago, I found what I believe to be the parent colony, and began treating it with a spectracide pellet specifically formulated for ants. (sprinkle it on, water it in, late at night in my case) They are far enough away from the hive (50' downhill) that I don't expect it to be much of a problem for the bees. Since treating the hives, the population of ants that I am seeing near the hives definitely seems to be going down. Today, I probably saw a total of 15 ants, where two weeks ago, I saw 50 or more under the outer cover of a very strong colony. These covers are installed the way Wally described as being best. The bees just didn't seem to care about their upstairs neighbors.