How to get rid of ants in the apiary: what to do and how to secure hives, prevention

How to get rid of ants in the apiary: what to do and how to secure hives, prevention

Ants are considered beneficial insects, as they are forest orderlies, destroying pests and collecting various garbage, thereby purifying the earth and preventing the spread of diseases. However, if ants take up residence in the hives or their immediate vicinity, they can become a serious threat to the well-being of bee colonies. It is necessary to thoroughly understand how to quickly get rid of ants in the apiary if they begin to harm the bees.

Danger of ants for bees

Different types of ants can harm bee families: forest red, large black garden and small domestic ones.All of them are equally related to the choice of habitat. It should be a site protected from precipitation, warm, with a soft base and close to a power source. Hives fit this description perfectly.

If the ants decide to settle next to the bees, they will be very unpleasant and unwanted tenants. Besides the fact that they can compete with honey bees, ants love honey, can eat stocks and do not disdain bee brood. All this can bring serious damage to the family, even if the ants do not bring a dangerous infection to the hive. Unfortunately, they are carriers of diseases that can infect bees and cause the destruction of an entire swarm and even a full apiary.

What types of ants may appear

All types of ants that are common in this area can settle in the hives. It can be both garden and forest, and domestic insects. Despite the fact that in nature they can be considered useful, when they enter the hives they become dangerous pests that need to be de alt with urgently.

Reasons for appearance

Ants apiary attracts with a combination of a convenient location, providing a comfortable place to live and the availability of feed. From orderlies, they turn into predators, as the bees are practically defenseless against hordes of greedy invaders.

Ants in the hives actively settle, displacing bees, and also attack honeycombs. Sweet contents are very attractive to them, so if the insects multiply too actively, they can begin to compete with the bees for food, and also cause the death of the bee colony.

Ants do not disdain the offspring of bees, which is in the combs. By eating the brood, the ants lead to a decrease in the number of young bees, which also causes the extinction of the hive population.

It is the profitability of life in the apiary that attracts ants and becomes a cause for concern for hive owners.

How to get rid of pests

Bees try to get rid of harmful settlers on their own, but with a large number of enemies, they may not be able to cope with them on their own. The beekeepers will have to help in the destruction of the ants.

The most radical method is the use of pesticides. However, substances that are toxic to ants are also dangerous for bees, so this method can only be used if the apiary is taken to a “clean” place for the duration of processing. But, if the hives are already infested with ants, you will have to use other methods of influencing harmful insects.

Hive processing

Effective ant control begins with the treatment of the legs of the hive. This is the natural way for insects to enter the bee house. You can prevent this by applying the following substances to the legs:

  1. Solid oil or any other sticky and viscous fuels and lubricants. Insects try to climb up the legs and tie up in the composition.
  2. Vegetable oil. It is applied liberally on the legs.
  3. Double sided sticky tape. By wrapping them around the legs, you can create a reliable trap for ants that will stick to the adhesive tape.
  4. Plastic film. On it, pests cannot gain a foothold and slide to the ground.
  5. Natural or artificial fur. The smell and structure of the fur are unpleasant to insects, and they avoid it.
  6. Wadding or cotton wool soaked in kerosene. Such materials are also unpleasant for ants, but they will have to be changed quite often.
  7. Sintepon and other porous materials. They act similarly to wrapping with cotton.
  8. Special metal sockets. These are pest traps that they cannot get out of on their own.

A feature of hive protection is that most protective materials will have to be periodically replaced or reapplied. But with due perseverance, it is possible to drive away the ants. After a dozen insects die, the rest usually retreat. This is due to the fact that these are social insects that have signs of a single mind. Having received information from their dying brethren, they try not to repeat their mistakes.

How to treat the area around the hive

It is also desirable to treat the area around the hive with products that are harmless to bees, but unpleasant or deadly to ants. You can use regular table s alt for this.It is scattered on the paths that ants lay. They do not like loose and caustic powder substances for them. For the same purpose, you can use dry mustard powder, wood ash and ground sulfur. Ants will not be able to pass through an area covered with a dusty agent, and sulfur can generally kill them.

You can also make circles from a strong saline solution. In this way, you can both ward off ants and excess lime grass. To obtain an effective solution, you need to take at least 200 grams of s alt per liter of hot water.

What plants to plant for protection

Ants have a negative attitude to the smell of tomato leaves, garlic and onions, so you can plant turnips and tomatoes between the hives. You can also put cut leaves and feathers in the hives, place them near the legs and entrances.

Creeping pests do not like bird cherry, parsley and mint, because these plants can be planted in close proximity to the apiary and individual bee houses. Cinnamon seems to be equally unpleasant for ants, so you can sprinkle it on holes in the hive or put sticks, pieces of cinnamon at its legs.

Mowing the grass

Ants use any plants as springboards to get into the hives. Even fairly long blades of grass can help them in this, so it is highly desirable to mow the space around the hives and the entire territory of the apiary. Since grass and small shrubs grow constantly, you will need to take care and time to regularly destroy tall vegetation.

Using this method as an independent way to deal with ants is not worth it, as this is only one of the ways to prevent insects from entering the apiary. The most effective is a set of various measures aimed at creating conditions under which it will be extremely difficult for ants to get into the hives and establish themselves in them.


It is much easier to prevent an invasion of ants than to get rid of them later. To do this, it is necessary to regularly inspect not only the hives themselves, but also the surrounding area. If an anthill is identified, it will have to be destroyed, and then poured with boiling water. This cruelty is justified by the fact that otherwise the ants will cause serious damage to the apiary, and the number of honey bees is already under threat throughout the world.

It is equally important to keep the hives perfectly clean, periodically disinfect them, and also remove the vegetation around them. You can surround the apiary with a small moat with water or make a circle of s alt - insects do not like it very much.

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