Ants on the bee box

Lee and I have been fretting over our bees here. We haven’t been seeing much activity outside the bee box ever since we captured the honey bees. The most activity we saw was the following two days after capturing the swarm. Lee went up to the box today at dusk and he said he could hear some bees inside of it. We are wondering if the hive ditched us and there are some stragglers left behind. That, or maybe we have other bees robbing the sugar water in the feeder.

We do have a new problem though. Today we found a trail of ants robbing the sugar water.

This entry was posted in Beekeeping. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Ants on the bee box

  1. Lynn says:

    Hey, the ants gotta eat, too! ­čÖé

  2. john gray says:

    just caught up with your blog.
    interesting note about the bees!

  3. lee says:

    Lynn – If there were still bees in there, I suspect the little ants would have stayed away. That was probably a good sign that they had left.

  4. Jarom says:

    I found your blog through Makezine. One thing that works well to keep ants out of your hives is to put the hive up on cinnamon sticks. It won’t last through a winter here in the Willamette Valley, but the ants aren’t out when the rain starts to set in.

    Another way is to put the hive up on legs and put the base of each leg in a can of oil (make sure you don’t use an oil that will go rancid or dry out).

    Also, FYI, bees tend not to mind ants in the hive and visa verse.

  5. lee says:

    Hi Jarom, thanks for the suggestions. I’ve never heard of the cinnamon sticks idea. I’ll have to try that. I had thought about building the stand with a moat for water or something, but this one was rather thrown together in a rush.

    Unfortunately, this first swarm we caught has left us and I believe the ants have cleaned out the sugar. I need to be more proactive about finding swarms to catch, but we have a few too many irons in the fire this summer. Next spring we will definitely be ready for the bees. (Maybe.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *