Ants. I really don’t like them very much. Particularly when there is a stream of them making their way up the concrete blocks, the base board, onto the hive and up into the roof. I had noticed them for a little while when it occurred to me – and hopefully not too late – that perhaps they were causing more damage than I realised.
As you go through life it’s just something you see – streams of ants in the kitchen, the garden, the porch, etc etc. They just turn up one day – some other creature in the circle of life has died and the ants have pounced. Or crumbs or something sweet is around. So your brain just gets use to seeing this type of thing out in the world. Of the amount of data our brain takes in every day, how much do we really take in. Really truely. Every signal coming in through our eyes and our brain – how much is processed? Anyway I digress. I’m really just making excuses for the fact that I’d been seeing these ants for weeks now – and I just saw them. I didn’t think about them. I had biased filtering going on – and really only thought about my bees. So on the weekend I was having a good look at my hive up close to see if there was activity – it’s been freezing here (below 0 on several days). That’s when I really noticed the bees, and in an instant my heart (and guilt) dropped as I thought: all those ants are slowly eating the food that the bees have worked so so hard to keep storing for over winter. I felt awful. So I immediately did research about what to do. The best and most consistent advise I could find, short of ant traps – which I couldn’t get happening that day, was to try cinnamon. Apparently sprinkled around the inside roof board can repel the ants. So that’s what I have done.
Click on the images below to see a bigger version on the pics. You can see some of my ants below (although there were a lot more than that). Also the brand/type of cinnamon I used and the amount I have sprinkled. Also here are a few photos of the bees on that day carrying their tiny little winter amounts of pollen back into the hive. I hope they are doing ok and the ants haven’t robbed their food stores too much. One thing I haven’t done is remove the lid – as I don’t want to let the cold in unless absolutely necessary. I don’t know how it’s gone – and will check back on the weekend most likely. It’s also been raining so that would be putting the ants off more than anything!
The good news I am thinking is that there are still bees going into the hive – which I can only assume means the hive is hanging in there.