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How do the ants get in the flow frames


#1

Specifically, how are they getting into the areas closed off by plastic caps? Like where the tool goes to open the frames.

Full disclosure I accidentally left the caps off when I put the flow frames on this year. So the ants got in. But then I scared them out and capped it off, expecting to return after a few days to scare out the stragglers, but instead there were a ton more behind the caps. I’m working on my measures to keep the ants from the hive in the first place, but I can’t figure how they’re getting behind those caps.


#2

FYI these are big (carpenter?) ants, not the little ones. I can’t see the squeezing between the segments.

I know I know, open up the hive and get a better look. I will , it’s been so rainy and I’m going out of town this weekend, so it’ll be a few days.


#3

I have a flow frame here in my hands and am looking carefully at it: basically I can’t see anyway for them to get in once the caps are in place- except via the little cracks in the segments that make up the bottom channel- and more specifically there is a small crack at the bottom of every cell immediately above the channel. With the wires tight to my eye this gap looks to be around 1.5mm wide. If ants were to get in from this crack- they would need to fully enter the super. On a few of my hives there are ants that like to hang around where the caps are- but I have never seen one go inside the hive and have never had them in the channels. I think if the super is quite full of bees the ants won’t go in there- but perhaps some types of ant are less worried about the bees?

edit: I just realised there is one other spot they can get in: that little opening at the base of the extraction tube hole that the bees use to lick up honey remnants. On my own hives those gaps are usually blocked up with wax/propolis by the bees and I have to periodically unblock them. Again the ants have to enter the super to access that spot.


#4

There is a small gap at the end of the trough where the bees can lick the remainder honey from, are they coming in from the inside of the Flow super?


#5

I don’t see them in the collection tube area, just the upper areas where the tool goes.


#6

Marcos,

Can you pull each frame our like in an inspect n try to shake the ants out. Are there lots or just a few ?! I was checking one of my frames here. Don’t actually see access for larger ants up there so guessing they used the cap-off time to enter that region.

Once you have reddened that area of the ants you should be okay. Don’t really know a health hazzard of ants up there. Some people actually eat ants (not me !) … Just look at it as a learning event. Once there out I’m guessing that’s the end of Big Ant Invasion in that area of your mechinism.

Cheers n good luck,

Gerald.


#7

Fyi in case anyone cares, I did end up pulling the frames out and shaking the ants out of the top tool area. There were lots of dead ants. Good riddance. Since capping the areas off appropriately, they have only returned in ones and twos and only outside the caps.