What do I do about ants on brood box, they are on the outside and seem to be entering via top. Is there a solution?
Is your hive on a stand? If not, I think it needs to be. My hives are on stands like these:
I “painted” the wooden bars on either side of the hive with an olive oil and cinnamon mixture. It has kept them at bay and I have not had problems with ants. You do, however, need to touch up every now and then. I also pour boiling water on the entrances to the ants’ nests which are in close proximity to my hives.
Alternatively you could have a stand like this one:
The idea here is that the legs rest inside cans filled with some kind of oil, I think they suggest used motor oil, although I shudder at the idea polluting my garden with accidentally spilt oil. This will also need maintenance, as the cans will fill up with water, which would need to be emptied.
As with most other things in beekeeping, ant management will require a multi-pronged approach, of which the above methods form only part of the process.
I hope this helps.
Have a beautiful day.
Thanks, have them on a stand already, have put ant sand around legs today, will review surrounding area.
Thanks for the information.
Here is a post that I replied to someone concerned about cockroaches. The same technique will stop ants from getting to you hives.
"One way to control cockroaches and ants is to put a barrier to the hive that they can’t cross. Jeff Willard has discovered that no crawling insects can cross Rustoleum’s Neverwet. His discovery was for blocking Hive Beetles as per this video:
However, Neverwet blocks all crawling insects. I don’t have cockroaches, but ants sometimes caused a problem. So I’ve put aluminum flashing with about an inch of Neverwet around the underneath edge of it on my hive stand blocks. This will prevent any ants or cockroaches from getting to the hive. You can see the flashing with some raindrops on it on top of the concrete blocks.
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Also, in this picture, you can see how I’ve found to get the right tilt to the hive when getting honey from my Flow. A 1/2" PVC pipe in the middle provides the right angel (less than 5 degrees). When you need the tilt for your Flow frames, just push the back down and put a block under the front. When you’re through, reverse the tilt to keep rain out. Easy!
Also, to keep the weeds and grass from growing up in front of the hive, I put down some inexpensive outdoor carpet. This, also, makes it easy to see what the bees are throwing out and my wife thinks it looks kind of nice :> The carpet, also, prevents Hive Beetles from burrowing into the ground in front of the hive and completing their life cycle."
I’ve tried oil, tree tanglefoot, etc. but they always require maintenance to continue to work. Neverwet provides a permanent barrier that never needs more of your precious attention.
Thanks great information
Hiya @mountainbee - check in the search box for “getting rid of ants” or ant traps" and you’ll see lots of good posts with more ideas
You first have to find the main source of the infestation, but most of the ants come for the nice housing conditions.You can make different kinds of traps that will lure them in and kill them. I use cayenne pepper on the spot where I see that ants enter from, and it has helped me tremendously. I found this out on http://ohealthyeah.com/how-to-get-rid-of-ants-naturally/ and I also read other useful advice on how to help reduce the number of ants entering and staying in the hives. I don’t know if any of you has used cayenne as a method and how it went, but I’m open to other suggestions.
The problem with any oil including motor oil is floats on water so if it rains you could have a big mess to clean up and if the hive is on grass then it will dies from the oil soaking into the soil. Maybe some cooking oil is a better environmental option.