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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kitchen Supplies and Beekeeping

In addition to its many other troubles - SHB, a queen that isn't laying, a hive that isn't thriving, Mellona has ants. I see a steady stream of them marching up the sides of the hive and into tiny spaces between boxes.




Cinnamon is supposed to be a deterrent so I sprinkled it on the stone base of the hive where the ants appear to gain access.



I don't see ants on the other side of the hive but for preventive medicine, I sprinkled the cinnamon there too.



I'm struck by all the kitchen supplies I am using for the bees. I realize now that the reason I bought the enormous cinnamon container at Costco several years ago must have been unconsciously in preparation for this moment. I also frequently purchase huge bags of sugar both at the grocery and at Costco.

There is no nectar in Atlanta and none of my hives are in good shape for winter. I know Sam Comfort would say that I should see which hive survives without my feeding any of them, but I can't stand it this year. I have often not fed going into winter, but this year, it's sugar syrup all the way.



And the other kitchen supply not picture here is powdered sugar that I start using about this time of year to help the bees go into winter with few varroa mites.

6 comments:

  1. I didn't have any luck using cinnamon so I put the legs of my hive stand in pie tins filled with canola oil. That worked, also water works but you have to keep refilling the tins. Now the bees seem to take care of the ants themselves because I don't see them anymore. I'm all for feeding through the winter also if they don't have enough stores. I couldn't stand to just let a hive starve, that seems cruel. Good luck.

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  2. Cool Linda, i never knew or just haven't listened very well perhaps in times prior that cinnamon acts as a deterrent to the common ant. Neato!!! Sounds like a measure that i might have to implement at some time should i ever have problems with these little monsters.

    Thanks so much for posting such a helpful and informative (all in one) photos regarding same.

    Also, i hadn't really thought about the powder sugar shake going into the winter, primarily being a first year beekeeper i just didn't think about it. But i will certainly be administering one here shortly.

    Thanks again.

    Would you disassemble the boxes to administer this powder sugar shake or would you just simply attempt to shake the sugar down throughout the hive by leaving the majority of the supers and such in place?

    Chris

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  3. Ants! Oh my goodness. We've tried just about everything, and the only thing that has worked for us has been setting the hive stand legs in plastic containers of water. Sure, bees drown in them as well, but we have so many ants that they'd overrun a hive in no time!

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  4. I'm having a parallel experience with my hive to yours with Mellona. It's my first hive, and the poor things have just been under siege all summer. Mite, beetles, and then an ant attack, winding up with wax moths. Thankfully the wax moths are not as bad as your photos, or I think these bees would be done for. I hope the new home helps your girls!

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  5. I'm curious how well the cinnamon works for you. I've read it keeps the ants away, too, but what happens to the cinnamon when it rains? Seems like it requires a lot of cinnamon. I might have to try it, though. A see plenty of ants crawling up the sides of my two hives.

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  6. May I share what I discover in my own beekeeping. That one of the basic beekeeping supplies are these wooden boxes that hold the frames of honeybees. Supers should withstand any weather conditions to protect the beehives. It is designed to keep the queen bee inside its deep chambers to lay its eggs. Supers are not only for keeping the bee colony, but it is also the storage for honey.

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