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I discovered this afternoon that my hive was being over-run by thousands of black ants. The whole outside was covered and it looked as though the girls were losing the battle at the doorway. I jumped into action and went on an ant massacre. After about 10 minutes, most of the ants were dead and the girls were calming down a bit. But, no sooner than I started to leave and the ants were amassing another army. I need some suggestions on how to keep them at bay. I can't find their nest. I have a perimeter of dishwashing liquid which does a good job of keeping the sugar ants out, but the black ants are marching right through it. I have powdered lime under the hive, but they are marching through that too! What can I do???
 

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Headed to the kitchen now! Thanks! How much do I use?
If you can. Put hives on blocks or cans on plates/trays with water in them.
 

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As far as how much cinnamon to use-I feel the more the better. I buy the large containers at Sams club.
Moats work well-try using oil. you will have to replace it periodically as the cans fill up with water, and since the oil floats on top-it gets washed out.
 

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Mix granulated sugar with boraxo equally and put it in containers under the hives where the ants can find it and the bees can't. The ants will carry it back to the nest and all will perish.
 

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The wife just told me that she read that ants don't like mint or anything spicy. Right now I am using cinnamon around the hives but thinking how invasive mint is, I will try to plant some and see how that works. Worst case it smells good when you cut it.
 

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I would think that was not the mint plant itself but maybe some type of mint oil.

Not really sure on that, just my pea brain thinking again.........ohhhh the pain!:lol:
 

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First the disclaimer: 2nd year new bee, but had this problem this spring, the day after we made the split. Because they were too small to guard the entrance and they were being over run I temporarily put an entrance reducer on the smallest hole (step one) so the bees weren't freaking out. then I heard a member of the bee club say last year that he heard of quick cooking grits (hominy stuff we have here in NC) around the hive... We tried it.. and the little birds (finches, sparrows) thought I was their hero! Well, no more ant problem...maybe the birds ate them too...Open to corrections, if this was right or wrong to do... Heard the grits swell in the ants??? I have a ton of spearmint growing everywhere and the little sweet ants seem to be attracted to the tender shoots...but we were also told mint may (we hope) help with varroa??? We don't have it close to the hive though, just scattered about (and taking over) the flower gardens...
 

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I would think that was not the mint plant itself but maybe some type of mint oil.

Not really sure on that, just my pea brain thinking again.........ohhhh the pain!:lol:
From what I have read that certain herbs, either in plant form or their oils break the chemical trail left by ants ie ( confusing them ) . My mom gave some lemon balm many years ago and I planted it around the house we had zero ant issues but it was invasive as all get out. Two years ago I decided I wanted to redo the lawn after having two large trees removed and all the shade grass was taken over by weeds. So last June after a ton of round up I had killed everything green in my yard. My goal was to have a zoysia lawn and start it from seed. I think that is most notable is that after I killed off the lemon balm and now every time it rains the ants come marching in. So as an experiment I am going to do a herb garden around the hives whats the worst that can happen ( mint honey) :grin:. http://exterminators.networx.com/info/ant-prevention/
 

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Mix granulated sugar with boraxo equally and put it in containers under the hives where the ants can find it and the bees can't. The ants will carry it back to the nest and all will perish.

As in 20 mule team borax? I have an ant barrier, moat style (with a ferocious mosquito issue at the moment), but am going to need a larger stand when I get my nucs this saturday. Am laying pond liner down, to block the weeds so I don't have to mow much, but that does provide excellent ant cover. Awaiting your reply with "bated breath"

Gypsi
 

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I think it is just the Dial soap co.'s trade name. It's main ingredient is borax, so I think either brand would work.
 

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20 Mule Team is the same stuff and does fine. I have used the mixture for years in my yard on anthills and around my foundation.

I've heard it is useful for other crawling pests, (spiders, roaches) but I haven't paid any attention to verify that.
 

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An old timer at our bee club mentioned something about black walnut leaves under the lid would run the black ants out. I haven't tried it yet, but intend to when the ants become a problem. I certainly have plenty of black walnuts around to supply the leaves.
 

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I've got a young black walnut tree too. And truth is, not much likes to live under it. Including grass. I hear the hulls are bad for my chickens, but it is alive and I have a bad time getting trees started in my back yard so I kept it.

Spreading pond liner, borax has been sitting on my garage shelf since my 7 year old grandson was in diapers.... It NOW has a use.
 
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