Just got my first hive, have a few questions!

Hello all! I am from Victoria, in Australia. I just started my first hive, and did my first inspection yesterday pictured above. My bees aren’t quite ready for there super on just yet. I got the bees two days ago. I just have a few questions!

Firstly, a few ants are crawling up the cinder blocks my hive is on and getting near the entrance. Some bees seem to be fighting them off but I haven’t personally seeen them enter the hive. I did not see any ants inside during inspection. I assume this might be a problem, any way to stop them?

Secondly, I have done heaps of reading on the certain pests to look out for, mainly Wax Moths and SHB. As a new beekeeper it is daunting about these little critters. The beek I got my bees from showed me what Wax Moths can do to a hive. I have put up a fly/moth trap near my hive that can get them, harmless to the bees. But I’m a little worried about trying to prevent them!

Same with the SHB I am a little perplexed on ways to stop them, I see many different ways but I don’t know which one to do.

So really I’m asking what to do about the ants and the SHB! Thank you!

Hiya Tom and welcome to beekeeping! It’s good you’re doing lots of observation and asking questions. Remember that your bees will take care of most pests as long as the colony is strong and populous. A few wax moths and SHB inside is kind of the same as the occasional tiny critter we might see in the corners of our own homes :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

The ants, however, are organized like the bees and their small size helps them elude busy workers. Many beeks use moats for the legs of their hive stand to sit in, but since you have concrete blocks, moats would be a major engineering job! I suggest you make a couple of borax traps to place next to the blocks where you see the ants climbing up. Here’s how:

Mix 1/4 cup white sugar with 1 tablespoon of borax and add 3/4 cup hot water to dissolve. Keep this batch in a labeled container.

Put a little of this liquid in a small jar with a cotton ball or bit of paper towel.

Cover with foil and secure with rubber band or screw on ring, and poke several holes in the foil with a fork, of a size ants can easily get in but are too small for bees.


Yesterday I noticed a cloud of tiny flying insects literally flying out of a hole in the ground. One of them landed on me, and it was a big black flying ant. I looked up flying ants on Google and found out that the males swarm out of the hive to meet up with a queen once a year or so. It was amazing. We recently carved back the slope in that area, and must have cut into their nest. So this army of ants is about 15 feet from where my beehive will be.

My hive stand has moats on the legs for oil, and the immediate area is covered with pea gravel which I plan to sprinkle with diatomaceous earth.

Is the borax mixture more effective than olive oil? Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to do both.

Wow, must have been a sight! Any idea what these ants’ preferred diet is? There are large black carpenter ants around here, but they mostly stick to weak trees and woodpiles. The ones that bother my hives are tiny sugar ants, and they come into my house too. Many do die in the borax traps, but the real advantage is that many will also collect the poison-laced syrup and bring it back to their nest…and feed it to their babies :smiling_imp:.

Apparently they like honeydew and especially honey. They’ve probably lived there for eons, so I’m going to prepare for battle!

Oh no, I don’t like the sound of large ants that like honey :worried::-1:

Hi Tom,
Welcome to the wonderful world of bees from a fellow Victorian. It looks like your nuc is filling out the hive nicely. As we’re now into Autumn and the days are cooler (not that there was much summer), I would wait until spring to add the super. The bees will be flat out getting stores for winter etc etc.

Good luck with the ants. There are lots of methods to deal with them on the forum. You just need to work out what fits your situation best. If you can find the nest, ant dust down the entrance (not near the bees) might do the trick. Eva’s method is great and it’s worth having next to the hive all the time. There’s also a short youtube video of a similar SHB lure for hanging in a tree 20+ metres from the hive.

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Hello Outbeck, so you said to wait until spring for the superr, will the hive have enough honey for the winter in that case? I am planning to get a feeder soon. I have found a soultion for the ants to be able to make a moat around the hive. Basically cutting a huge tub at the bottom then sitting the hive/stand in it.

Just a question, I inspected the hive two days ago, so should I wait until next week to put the moat in or do it asap? Since the ants are growing in numbers around the hive and it makes me worried! Since it will require me lifting up the hive onto a table nearby to install it! found only take around 10 mins!

The flow super is added when the brood box is full - the frames should be just about covered in bees. I don’t think you’ll reach that point before winter, as they have a lot to do (build comb, expand onto adjacent frames and get honey stores). They may or may not do this very quickly depending on the weather and availability of pollen and nectar. At the same time, the queen will slow down her laying for winter. You may well need to feed them over autumn, so they go into winter strong enough to make it through. I recommend reading a few topics on when to add supers, preparing for winter, when and what to feed bees etc.

On the subject of your moat. I’m not totally clear on what you’re doing, but if you’re sitting the whole hive in a pool of water then I strongly advise against it. If you look out the front of your hive, you’ll notice a number of bees wandering around. This is perfectly normal, but bees can’t swim and many would drown if the hive is surrounded by water. There are also a number of topics here about putting your hive legs or have stand legs in tins, just big enough so the ants can’t jump across and march up into the hive. There are also other alternatives around using grease, vaseline and cooking oil. Just keep in mind that anything that kills ants will kill bees and anything that ants don’t like (except cinnamon), bees don’t generally like either.
Anyway, there’s heaps to learn about bees and I’ve loved every minute of it. I hope this has helped.

That’s okay, I drew up a diagram on how it would work, so the bees won’t be anywere near the water!

Will get a feeder soon to feed them before winter hits.

Hi Tom, I was just kidding about a moat around your cinder blocks but I see it sparked an idea! It looks good on paper as they say, but I think in reality it would be impractical. Cinder blocks absorb moisture, plus there would always be debris coming into the moat that would give ants a chance to get across it.

If you put your bottom board on a legged stand on top of the blocks, provided it was sturdy, you could put those legs into individual and more manageable moats.

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In relation to ants: On “Gardening Australia” last night they showed some sort of gel in a tube that’s used as an ant barrier. Something like that would save using moats etc.Cooking spray works for us in keeping ants out of the kitchen.

I see lots of ants around my hives, some places worse than others, however they have never bothered me enough to try to avoid them. If I did want to do something, I’d spray my hive stands with cooking spray.

Oh I see what you mean - not quite the ocean around the hive I envisaged but I’d have to agree with Eva on the practicalities. My first hive was on a solid pallet, but with ongoing ant issues, it’s now on a hive stand with gal legs and cooking spray / grease bands. My biggest issue is with jumping jacks. They are very persistent once they find a way in and do most of there dirty work at night. I have the FH2 with legs but the ants still found ways to get across the grease.
I also use a sprinkle diatomaceous earth in the tray. If you have ants in the hive, they will usually show up there. It’s a good indicator that they’re in your hive, but you have to be a bit careful to avoid getting it on other surfaces (it blows everywhere and sticks to wood!) where bees might be.

That’s interesting Jeff. I’ve seen an ant gel before but not a bee-friendly one. I’ll have to watch the repeat.

I never thought about whether it was bee friendly or not. It probably isn’t bee friendly. Skip that idea.

I’ve seen flow2 legs. I just wonder if a grease soaked rag wrapped around each leg would do the job. It probably would. You’d wrap a strip of material around the leg, greasing it as you go with waterproof grease. I don’t think you’d even have to tie it, the grease would hold it together.


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Hello all! I looked at my hive today and there are a few bees out the front. No doubt fighting some ants. I see areound 5ish ants sniffing about the hive. I do not know if they are actually inside yet. !

Some ants were sniffing around the baseboard entrance, I pulled it out and there were a few dead bees and dropped pollen bits.

It is making me mad! Stinky little ants think they own the joint. So I ordered some proper legs for the hive, going to put them on a thick board then place the beehive on top. They’ll take a bit to get here so in the meantime I am using what @Eva suggested. I made the mixture but made a big batch by doubling the ingredients. Then I drilled some holes in old jars.

Hopefully this will slow them down. I put 3 jars out. Just getting super worried they will die/swarm! They need to get ready for winter since it is currently autumn here is Australia. I see as the moat won’t work the legs should.

Just one question, should I add a feeder now? And what kind of mixture to prepare them for winter?


Nice work, Tom :+1: I put my jars right up next to the hives in or right by the ants’ path so they get diverted faster. Annoying little buggers!

About fall feeding, in my area we make a heavier sugar syrup than in spring - 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Lots of other tips and info if you search it on here.

Hi Tom, just looking at what you have there, I’m thinking you could get an ant cap made to fit under the board that the hive sits on. Then you can smear some grease under the ant cap. The ants wont walk past the grease.

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That could work as well, I’m sure the legs I ordered will do the trick, just as a new beek it is worrying

I checked the traps and no ants caught yet. Saw an ant make off with some nectar so a crushed it. I hope this won’t turn into a be issue!