Honey Bee Enemies


   Ants are not usually serious pests in honey bee colonies. Occasionally, however, certain species may enter colonies to search for food or establish nesting sites. Ants are typically found between the inner and outer covers of the hive and in pollen traps. Even though ants seldom disturb the bees, they can be a nuisance to the beekeeper.

   Once ants are established in a colony, they are difficult to control. To minimize ant problems maintain strong colonies and keep bottom boards raised off the ground. Also, remove brush, rotten wood, grass, and weeds from around the colonies. Single colonies can be placed on stands with oil or sticky barriers. Ant problem may also be reduced by allowing the bees access to the space between the inner and outer covers.