Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bad News - Again

When I got home yesterday evening - catastrophe! The ants robbed this newly transferred colony & they were gone. On top of that, storms had blown the tops off both hives and they were wet. Since the bees were gone, I went ahead and opened it up, looked at the comb and they were thriving. I saw emerging brood, sealed brood - it all looked normal (except for the cross-comb and ants - no honey). So I started investigating and found the cluster in a nearby tree that I could easily access.
Here's what I did: I took the hive, emptied out all the short (15") bars - cross-comb, ants and all. I took a water hose and washed it down & my 17" bars. I then took a towel and dried it the best I could. I then clipped the branch and shook the cluster in. I am almost sure I saw the queen in the hive. Then I commenced to clean up the site. I wiped the concrete blocks of the ants and wet cinnamon left on them and got it ready. I left the hive under the tree until after dark, then I moved it to the blocks. There was a little cluster left on another branch, but I didn't bother them. I hope they will move in, too.
Now - about the ants - something's gotta give. I can continue to pour cinnamon around everything, but by the time I get home, it could be covered up again. Am I gonna have to build a moat around this thing? Anyway, I hope they stay, but I'm afraid they won't have enough time to build back what the ants destroyed. I can only wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. If you put your hive on legs you can set each leg in a can filled with oil to keep the ants out. Very much like a moat. If you fill the cans with water, the ants will create an ant bridge and still get in.

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