Monday, July 15, 2013

Ants and wasps and and broken screws, oh my!


It's been a while! I'm sorry I've been so busy; there's a lot we need to catch up on! As you can see in the video at the end of this post, we've got good news and bad news. The good news is that the bees have finally moved down into the second box. I was getting worried there for a little bit.

The bad news is that ants have invaded the quilt. As far as I could tell by peeling back a bit of the top cloth, they're not in the hive itself, just the quilt. This is still annoying, however, as they're nasty little buggers that bite when they get on you (you can see in the video, I thought I had my first bee sting, but it was just an ant that crawled up my back). They're also pulling out all the quilt material (sawdust) and dumping it all over the ground. This is not good cause we need that there to insulate the hive and help pull the moisture out.

After some research online, I found out that ants HATE cinnamon, but the bees don't mind it. We've decided to use cinnamon around the base of the hive, mix a bit with petroleum jelly to create another barrier around the bottom box, and finally added some cinnamon directly to the quilt material as well.

Another bit of bad news is the fact that there are paper wasps that decided the roof made a convenient home. You can't see it in the video, but our assistant beekeeper (my dad) used a yard stick to smash the wasps nest. She hasn't been back since!

The final bit of bad news was the fact that two of the screws holding the roof and mouse board together actually broke. So we need to take that apart and put new screws on. Thankfully my dad had a box of these screws lying around, which we used to fix it all up. These short deck screws are actually what I was looking for in the first place when we built the hive. I just never found them. If you decide to take it upon yourself to build a hive at some point DEFINITELY use these short deck screws and not the generic zinc plated wood screws.

Thanks for reading! After much beating around the bush, here's the video...


So, I was back out at my parents' house the day after we cleaned all the ants out. Guess what? More ants!! Figured out we didn't put the petroleum jelly/cinnamon mixture on the straps holding our hive together and that's where the ants were crawling in and out. Here's another short video explaining everything.


  1. Wow ants so many ants! Never seen that many before in or on a hive.

  2. Yeah. It was a lot! They weren't IN the hive. I think they were just trying to use the heat in the quilt. But it was REALLY annoying cause there were SO many and they bite!!

    Matt N