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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After losing two nucs to ants I came up with a solution for those darn Argentine ants that raid hives here in California. I made "T's" with 1" galvanized pipe. At the bottom of the T joint, I slipped on 2" white PVC end caps after drilling holes in them. I hung them upside down on the pipe and filled them with high temp bearing grease that doesn't run in the heat. The rain won't be a factor because they're upside down under hives.

I pounded the pipe legs into the ground 2 feet deep. I secured the 2x6 PT frame to the T joints with plumbing strap. The cross members are resting on the T joints to better handle hive weight. NO MORE ANT PROBLEMS! (Sorry about the finger in the first pic)
Ant Proof Hive Stand 1.jpg Ant Proof Hive Stand 2.jpg Ant Proof Hive Stand 3.jpg Ant Proof Hive Stand 4.jpg Ant Proof Hive Stand 5.jpg Ant Proof Hive Stand Grease.jpg
 

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It looks good and I hope it works, but I'm guessing it will form a crust over the grease that they can walk on in a week or two and you will have to remove the crust on a regular basis. Keep us updated. I hope I am wrong.
 

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That's an interesting solution ... I wonder, though, how long before enough dirt gets blown into the grease where the ants are able to cross the divide? I'm anxious to see how it works out. Please keep us posted.
 

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Hope that works but I tried a similar solution using cans and the ants just pile up / use dead ant bodies across the grease to walk across. maybe Argentine ants aren't as smart as Alabama ants. Good luck.

The best thing I've found to keep the ants out is to spray "Black Flag Ant and Roach Spray" around the legs and the bottom board / bottom deep junction and then replace it after a heavy rain or every couple of weeks. So far so good and has been my only "permanent" solution.
 

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very nice looking construction job. my experience with somewhat similar 4 legged hive stands reinforces what iddee has suggested about the axle grease.

hive stands are a bit like rain gear.... most all are water resistant but not water proof.
 

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Having the grease "upside-down" sounds like it should keep the barrier viable for a long time. :thumbsup:
Keep us posted on how it passes the test of time.
 

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That's a great idea Charles. I like it. Shoot, just paint the pipes with a good enamel if it rust. Otherwise, pvc filled with concrete maybe.
 

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That looks good Charlie and it will kill fewer bees than what I use. My stands sits in pans of oil/water to keep the ants at bay. In north Texas we have wind almost very day. When the bees are graduating the wind forces the bees down and into the pans drowning them. I have some pans with hundreds of bee bodies in them. My solution for ants (and I'll probably catch hell for this, is Ambro) I spread it west of the hives where the black ants were coming from and I have not had a problem since. Before using it, if the water was full of bee bodies or debris from the wind, the ants just crossed over it. And to make matters worse as far as chemicals around the hives is concerned, my wife saw a rattlesnake close to the hives 3 weeks ago, so now there is also Snakeaway surrounding them :)
 

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I confess Jim although by and large I am treatmentless this strategy does not apply to fire ants. I am not interested in eradicating the nasty pest but I do use fire ant killer to kill any very active nest within some short vicinity of my yards. I don't even like them little nasties on the external surface of my hive bodies since I am fairly certain even this makes the girls extremely cross.
 

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Fire ants haven't too much a issue so far this year, but in another month, they will become alot more aggressive in foraging for food, So far they contented themselves scavanging from under the screened bottom board ( hives are on cinder blocks.)
Barry
 

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This simple design has worked well to guard against all ants,I don't have a closeup of the little buckets on the legs of the stand.I just keep them filled with water and haven't had an ant yet.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm happy to report I checked my hives today on my new stand. Not one dead bee and the grease is still the same consistency it was out of the can. (It's been pretty hot here lately). There was very little debris stuck to the grease other than a few dead ants. I didn't have to touch it up at all. My girls are thrilled with me! :thumbsup:
 

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Hey Charlie, My wife is getting into bee keeping and I have built her the stand you designed. I searched and searched and liked your design and thought it would work the best. Her bees should be coming shortly. My question, is that I used the high temp grease, and I used a four inch PVC cap......... the grease keeps sliding out. I have packed bearing before and did use a old butter knife to pack the caps and smear tightly to the sides...... Is this common, or should I have sanded the inside to give it some grip......... Thanks for a great design and for taking the time to read this........
 

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I don't know if charlie is still on here, but I'd do some horizontal sanding inside the cap, to give the grease something to grip
 

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Thank you for your reply........ and I am sorry Charlie is not here anymore..... I believe he came up with a GREAT design! I would only add a couple points........ Don't try and save pennies by not using the end caps in his design. I was thinking this through, and figured out that the reason he called for them was to keep the ants from coming up the inside of the pipe and bypassing the ant proof grease! He thought of everything!

In my case, I took it apart this morning, and cut some small round circles of rat wire 3/4" square, and removed some grease, and then pushed these up into the grease wedged into the PVC caps. Then I applied about 1/2 inch of grease over the rat wired completely covering all of it, which should solve my problem. I think you are 100% correct, some sanding with coarse grade sand paper or cutting some gouges with a dremel on the inside of the cap would hold it in place. I think I got it now..........

Thanks again for your reply and to Charlie for a GREAT well thought out design!
 

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He did come up with a great design, wish I had the time to build one.
 

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the caps for the grease are a great idea, I would improve on that design by making out of sheet metal much larger funnel shape caps for a much larger area to grease, so if the ants try to bridge it, it is a much larger distance than just an inch or 2, and at the top inside of the funnel( the funnels are installed facing down like the caps he shows)I would push boric acid into the grease( just the upper portion), so any ants that make it across the grease ,will still have to deal with the boric acid as an extra preventative for the ants..
 
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