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Author Topic: Australian sugar ants  (Read 1412 times)

Offline omnimirage

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Australian sugar ants
« on: January 20, 2018, 01:25:58 am »
When I first started out beekeeping, my bees were getting mutilated and attacked by bull ants; it was quite a terrifying sight, to see my beloved honeybees setting up a wall formation of guard bees at the hive entrance against this large gang of bullants, who would constantly lash out and pile onto honeybees at any opportunity, seeing a line of ants walking around carrying beeheads and other parts. I quickly built stands and placed legs into sump oil, in order to protect the ants.

Now I build stands for every hive that I have. I've managed to stumble across numerous objects that I've used for makeshift stands and when to the time consuming, expensive route of building some stands as needed. One of these stands is set up at a site where the owner says they get a fair amount of ants there. I've discovered though, that there's no bull ants, there's just these little black sugar ants present. These are but a fraction of the size of the bullants, and don't seem as aggressive.

I've also saw that the oil trap at this site buggered up, the back legs had no oil in them meaning ants could freely walk up the stand, into the hive. However, they have not done so.

I'm left wondering; do I even need to take such protective measures against sugar ants? Can just sitting them off the ground via some bricks, be just as sufficient?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Australian sugar ants
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 08:55:35 am »
I have sugar ants here at my farm. They like to make long trains of 🐜s along my fences. I have never had any of them bother my hives. I have a hard time keeping out the carpenter 🐜s. I have inverted cups under the legs to try to stop them. All it takes I one blade of grass to make a bridge/ramp.
Jim

Offline eltalia

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Re: Australian sugar ants
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 10:16:33 am »
Ditto for moi, Jim... it is the greenants I have to keep an eye out for.
Another good reason to keep colonys in full sun, even at 40C+.

Bill

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https://www.somethingwildbeverages.com.au/

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Australian sugar ants
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 03:51:12 pm »
I'm thinking I need to make inverted cups as well, seems better than oil traps.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Australian sugar ants
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 11:57:03 pm »
You can grease the inside of the cups and it last a long time. Just having the cups works most of the time. The ants have a hard crawling under the edge of the cup.
Jim

Offline eltalia

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Re: Australian sugar ants
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2018, 09:25:03 am »
You can grease the inside of the cups and it last a long time. Just having the cups works most of the time. The ants have a hard crawling under the edge of the cup.
Jim

The heat gets them more often than not Jim, and at least one of four legs
takes the full hit of a sunny day over short time, melting out the grease.
Also some ants "daisychain" over the grease, forming bridges, greenants
are notorious for this... so liquids are the only solution. When needed I
have used a design similar to the olde oilbath filters on pre1960s engines,
 bath and covering cup all in one construction. But usually I move them
out, too hard otherwise .

Bill

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Australian sugar ants
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 05:58:45 am »
What sort of grease is best to use? I went to go buy some canned grease at the local hardware store, and got confused with the amount of options, couldn't find anything that was clearly worthwhile to me so I just didn't buy anything.

I have been placing the feet of my stands inside cans/icecream containers, filled with oil. At first, I was using sump oil; it works well, but I've learned that such a method is quite bad for the environment. So I've experimented with using vegetable oil instead. It's been too expensive though, and it just evaporates during the hot summer. I've learned that I can use mineral oil as well, it's supposed to be very cheap but I haven't found an actual cheap source of it, what I have found has been more expensive than cheap vegetable oil.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Australian sugar ants
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 07:29:28 am »
I use high temperature grease. It handles the sun better than regular grease.
Jim

Offline crispy

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Re: Australian sugar ants
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2020, 05:08:04 am »
My hive has had a suger ant problem since i started using the top feeder ,last changeof juice it was like a black stain on the bottom of the feeder really bad ,anyway i watched a guy from the states who had a problem with ants and he used a powder /earth that seemed to repel the ants and he said the bees are unafected by it ,so i have bought some to give it a go cant remember the name of hand though.