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Author Topic: Accidental Good Idea for fireants  (Read 958 times)

Offline Peanut

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Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« on: May 31, 2016, 02:54:39 PM »
My bee yard is on a gentle slope. I have a few tons of compost I scrapped up around my hay rings in the pasture. I brought some over to make a level pad under some of my hives. I?ve learned fireants wont go anywhere near this compost. It?s the uric acid from the cow urine in the compost. Lots of insects avoid it, bees seem to love sewage and manure.

I moved my problem hive to a neighbor?s farm last Friday. Fireants descended on the hive. I brought a couple of 5 gallon buckets of compost and spread it around and under the hive Sunday. I checked it after supper last evening. There wasn?t a fireant to be found anywhere near the hive.

I wonder if this compost will have an effect on hive beetles. I?ve two hives 25ft apart in the bee yard. One hive (in the photo) has a compost pad. The other one doesn?t. I think I?ll monitor beetle activity closely in the two hives and see if there is a difference over the summer.

My elderberry bushes love the stuff so the compost is safe for plants.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 12:25:11 AM by Peanut »

Online herbhome

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2016, 03:05:38 PM »
Keep us posted, I hate fire ants. Moved to the Ozarks 32 years ago and they weren't here. Now they are!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 07:23:01 PM by herbhome »

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2016, 01:13:02 PM »
Same here, please keep us posted.
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline SmokeEater2

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 10:09:06 AM »
Keep us posted, I hate fire ants. Move to the Ozarks 32 years ago and they weren't here. Now they are!


 Where in Arkansas? I'm in Baxter county and luckily We don't have fire ants here yet. I've been hoping we would never be infested with the darn things.

Online herbhome

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 07:26:38 PM »
I'm in Newton Co and I first noticed them a couple summers ago during a wicked dry spell. They didn't have the huge nests I saw as a kid in Louisiana, but I didn't give them a chance to get much bigger. Hopefully they can't take the winters we get here and won't get entrenched.

Offline Joe D

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 12:19:42 AM »
I think we have always had them, the last 50 years anyway.  If you need some, I will see what I can do for you.  I tried this and that, didn't do much but move them.  Started last year kicking the top off and putting a little Boric acid on the nest, seems to work better than other things I have tried.


Joe D

Offline Peanut

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2016, 10:54:27 PM »
18 days and it is still working on the ants. The next few days will tell, I have gotten 3.7 inches of rain since Tuesday. It might have washed out or diluted the uric acid. It does not seem to deter SHB though, darn...  :cry: I opened all my hives today. I saw 3 beetles in 2 of my hives, the other 3 hives were clear.

Offline Hops Brewster

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 04:43:23 PM »
One of my favorite aspects of beekeeping is the aroma of healthy hives! 
Fortunately, we don't have fire ants in this region so I'm glad I don't have to try your method.  :cool:..



Winter is coming.

I can't say I hate the government, but I am proudly distrustful of them.

Offline Peanut

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2016, 12:28:31 AM »
I will add there is another tried and true method to drop the population of fireants over a large area. My grandfather came up with this long ago. Being in North Alabama we don?t get a lot of snow but we do get winter rains that turn to sleet near night fall. At least once a winter (usually more) the conditions are perfect to kill lots of fireants.

About 3 in the afternoon several family members get shovels. It is 34, 35 degrees, drizzling rain? We would dig into every nest, quick, press the shovel in and turn out the nest, on to the next one. The ants don?t have time to seal up the nest before the temps drop below 32 degrees, at 34 degrees they are moving slowly. The freezing rain fills the nests, the ants freeze and die.

We only do this every 3 to 4 years when the fireant numbers reach unmanageable proportions. On two such days in one winter we can clear 30 to 40 acres of fireants for the sake of 3 or 4 hours in the freezing rain.

Dress warm  :wink:

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2016, 03:22:08 PM »
Peanut, when I lived in south La., when ever we had a crawfish, crab,shrimp boil of course with lot's of Tabasco mash from the island .you could buy it in ziploc bags. My father in law would say after we ate,heat the water back up to a boil,grab some shovels , now in LA. the mounds were about 12 ' high, and very similar to a bee hive(queen, workers, drones,virgin queens)
As y'all did in a way, we'd turn the mound,full shovel in the ground and throw that around the sides and pour the boiling pepper water in a 12' deep hole. Now it will kill grass around it.

Offline Peanut

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2016, 01:13:03 AM »
That is a good idea MikeyN.C. For folks who kill hogs the old fashioned way it is a good use for that 55 gallon drum of boiling water? (we would dip them in boiling water for easy hair removal).

Update on the compost? Over the course of 2 weeks we got about six inches of rain. I started to notice a few ants? 4 nights ago I got over 5 inches of rain in 3 hours? my gauge only measures 5 inches, it was closer to 6.

Today I noticed lots of fireant activity? time for compost off the piles by the hay rings. My suspicions are holding true, it is the uric acid the ants hate. It will leach out over time with rain.

Since my bee yard is also going to be a medicinal herb garden it is a win, win? lots of compost for the herbs, very few ants. :happy:

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2016, 08:21:52 PM »
Yes, Peanut it works try it.  We were boiling with pepper mash,from Tabasco,2 to 4 years old. Not hog water ?

Offline Duane

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Re: Accidental Good Idea for fireants
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 03:34:32 PM »
We have black ants that make annoying mounds in the yard.  Once or twice, I tried placing a bucket with a small hole over the top of the nest.  At least it appeared to me that they either died or moved to a new place.  I speculated they create mounds to shed the water away, so if you create wet conditions, it may not be good for the nest.  Something to try for the nests.  Don't know how that would apply towards your beehive.

 

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