Ants do not attack the bees themselves although they may
well eat the carcase of a dead bee. They steal the honey and in some
areas the losses can be a significant percentage of the crop.
Physical rather than chemical controls are what is required
as the ants lay a pheramone trail that other ants can follow. In
regions where ants are a nuisance it is customary to place the hive
stand so that it's legs are within four tin cans that are part filled
with old motor oil. This forms a barrier that the ants cannot cross,
there is a problem with this method in that if it rains, the tin cans
are filled up with water and the oil floats over the edge of the can,
leaving water in it's place. The water is not so effective a barrier
as the oil. If this is a problem it can be solved by forming shallow
aluminium cones fixed to the stand legs so that they shroud the tins
from falling rain.
Care should be taken that grass or other vegetaion does not
grow up near the hive or stand as this could form a bridge for the
ants to bypass the oil tins.
If the hives are standing on a concrete base, the pheramone
trail can be broken by spraying with a product made from oranges,
called "De-Solv-It" this is a solvent product from
that is excellent at removing wax, propolis, road tar and other hard
to shift waxes and resins. (This tip came from Ettamarie Patterson)
Revised... 10 October 2001