Help! My Colony has Ants!

Help! My colony has ants!

By Sarah Scott

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  • You have been feeding your colony a sugar water syrup and an ant colony has become an unwelcome dinner guest!
  • Your bees have been working hard to bring in nectar to make honey, and ants are robbing the comb for what they can get!
  • There are ants loitering between the inner and outer cover!

ants in hive

The sister hymenoptera species is an unwelcome sight in any honey bee colony. Fortunately, the honey bee colony thinks so too and will police the area and chase away any unwanted visitors. However, if there is an area that is too small for a guard bee to enter then she is not able to properly patrol. Ants are most commonly found between the inner and outer covers of a telescoping hive lid. Most inner covers have a deep and a shallow depth side to them, and when the shallow side is placed up, creates a space too small for a bee to enter.
inner cover with ants

Fortunately, there is a simple solution for getting rid of ants. To create a space for the bees to access and guard the area with the bees, place the deep side of the inner cover facing upwards and prop a stick in the corner of the outer cover. The bees will then have the space to enter and chase the ants out of the hive.

Propped hive cover