Not too long ago we received a question from a follower about ants. Big or small ants are usually dealt with by a strong hive, but in the spring or when a hive is weak your bees might not be able to fight off the little pests.
So what to do? As we all know insecticides aren’t great at being picky. Ant killers will kill bees too if they bees come in contact with them. But fortunately for us there are other options that work pretty well.
I first came across the ant problem with my bait hive. Set out next to my hive the bait hive had no bees to fight off the ants and thus the ants were having a field day in their nice dry space, fully protected from the elements. I caught them fairly quickly and cleaned off the equipment but wasn’t sure how to fight them off so I could keep the bait hive out. For a while I decided to pull down the bait hive.
But of course if you take away one ant home they will simply find another and in this case it was the hive with bees right next door. I have a top feeder on the box which creates a nice dry space with no bees in it for the ants. Sure enough a few days later there were lots of ants and ant eggs in the top feeder section of my hive. Again I cleaned it out but now I needed to find a solution to the problem.
Fortunately there are a number of resources out there including our own forums. Coffee, cinnamon and a number of other options were listed. Having no coffee I put cinnamon in the top feeder section of the hive and voila! the ants immediately disappeared. I’ve had no problems with them since.
Want to read about other options? Check out this forum thread for some of the many different options available to you.
Have you had problems with ants? What solution worked for you? Let us know in the comments below.
Post by Jessica Dally
Photo by Robin Cook