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Help! What is happening here?

Well, today there is no bearding and both hives are very active. I’m hoping I’m out of the woods. I will know more when I inspect in a few days. It will have been 3 weeks since making my split, so now just hoping I didn’t drown my new queen. :crown::honeybee:
Thanks again everyone, for your support and information. Very much appreciated!! :wink:

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Fascinating post and comments :+1:

Current issue, huge black ants setting up house between the inner cover and the hive roof. I’ve read about lots of different ways to combat the ants but wanted to hear from the group. What works best for you? :ant::ant::ant:

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I use ant moats. The legs on my bee stand sit inside a can of oil. Might not work with your arrangement though.

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I put DE around the legs of my hive stand. Thinking about coating them with used motor oil or petroleum jelly too. Also considering cinnamon or cinnamon sticks on the inner cover. It’s not supposed to bother the bees but the ants don’t like it. Has anyone used this method with success?

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A car grease or petroleum Jelly put on liberally works well and last a long time, Lots on the forum have used cinnamon inside the hive with good reports but I haven’t used it myself. Car grease works well for me Stacey.
Cheers

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Hi Mc,
I had a major ant invasion in December-January. They moved in and took over the roof cavity and were the larger black ants (we locally call jumping jacks) with a nasty bite on them. It took a while but they are now long gone. I got rid of them by:

  1. Taking the roof off daily and getting rid of all the ants in there - use a brush or branch to sweep them out (away from the hive). If the hole is open in your inner cover, close it (mine has always been closed).
    Sprinkle cinnamon in the roof cavity each time. You should see your numbers significantly reduce daily (by a half or third etc). I did it daily as it can be accessed without disturbing the hive.

  2. Smear petroleum jelly or engine grease around your hive stand legs - enough so the ants wont jump over.

  3. When your numbers are significantly reduced and you’re down to the stragglers dust DE in the roof cavity, underside as well. Keep the access hole closed. Dust it in the collection tray of the Flow Hive 2 if you have it where bees cant access it. You’ll keep finding ants there for a few weeks but not too many. They’ll be contorted but often still alive. Keep going until they’re gone.

  4. Check honey stores and feed bees if necessary (2:1) to get back on track.

This worked for me. It would probably be better or quicker to use DE from the start, but I found the bees really don’t like it. The ants avoided the cinnamon for a while, but it was quite short-lived. I’ve heard some say DE doesn’t bother the bees but it didn’t look like that to me. Either way, only use it where the bees cant or are unlikely to access it and avoid using if it’s windy.

I hope this helps and all the best.

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