Ant Moats And How To Keep Your Hive Healthy This Summer

DIY Ant Moat with PVC Pipes

As a beekeeper, no matter what, you’re going to face issues with your hive and the colony. It may be due to weather, hive invaders, disease, and other factors, but the best way to avoid any issues is to deploy as many preventative measures as possible. A Beepod is designed to help you with as many of those preventative measures as possible, especially now as creatures like ants try to get inside your hive to eat honey. Hive ants are preventable but can also signal other issues within the hive. On today’s blog we’ll be discussing ants, ant moats, preventive measures, and how a Beepod is designed to help keep your hive healthy this summer. 

Ant on abandoned comb

The Ants Come Marching


An ant invasion can ruin any picnic. Once they get in your hive they can be hard to get rid of. Typically bees can take care of an ant invasion on their own. But, if your bees aren’t able to fight off these pesky invaders, there may be a different underlying issue. When ants invade, some worker bees shift to guarding the hive. They either chase the ants, drag them out, or kill them and then drag them out. 



Video by JCVdude (Joe & Cindy Video) 


However, if you notice the bees can’t keep the ant invaders out, it may be a good idea to do an inspection to ensure there isn’t a bigger problem going on such as a Varroa mite infestation. Other critters, like skunks, raccoons, and the occasional bear (if you live in an area with bears) will try to get at your honey, too. That’s why it’s important to apply preventative measures to protect your hive from all kinds of invaders.


Preventative Measures 


What’s one of the best ways to avoid an issue? Take the steps necessary to avoid it. When it comes to beekeeping, there are several ways you can prevent hive invaders, especially ants! First off, we recommend using natural preventative measures first. This is where ant moats come in. 


The easiest way for ants to get in your hive is to climb up the legs. How to avoid this? An ant moat! What it is, is a shallow dish filled with oil or water. Most ants cannot cross water without a structure (a leaf, twig, etc.)  The legs are placed in the oil dish and now the ants cannot cross the oil to get to the legs. Be mindful though, ants are smart. Other ways to prevent ants is to keep the grass low around the hive or by making sure your hive isn’t in partial shade. If the shade is caused by a tree ants can then drop down from above and land on your hive! Like I said, they’re smart! These natural defenses will help prevent ants, unless there is a different underlying issue. We suggest avoiding chemical treatments as much as possible, this will only hurt and agitate our bees. 


A Beepod Can Help


A Beepod is specifically designed for preventative measures. When we designed this hive, we wanted it to be the most functional and safe hive for both bees and beekeepers. How do we achieve this? First off, when it comes to ant moats we have designed the legs with anchor holes in them so that the Beepod can sit on the ant moat and not directly in the oil. You can achieve this at home with your Beepod by also using a piece of PVC piping like in the image below. This helps protect your hive’s legs from natural wear and tear. 


DIY Ant Moat with PVC Pipes


These anchor holes can also be used to bolt your Beepod to the ground during times of extreme weather or when animals such as bears and skunks approach your hive. Along with that, the hives all have latches to make it more difficult to get inside and get at your bees honey stores. The lids weigh less, and when removed, it’s easier to perform inspections without being too labor intensive for the beekeeper. Last but not least, the hive is designed with all natural materials, which will keep your bees extra healthy. 




 Think of your hive like a body. Your body has its own natural defense system and when an outside factor, like an illness or even food and drink enters the body, your body’s defense system goes to work to protect it. If there is an issue with your body’s defense system, it will take a lot longer to feel well again. With a Beepod and natural prevention methods, you are acting as a member of a colony’s natural defense system. Taking your time to learn and apply these lessons will help you become a better beekeeper even if it takes a few tries. At Beepods, we believe that natural beekeeping is the best way to do it and that using natural prevention methods, such as ant moats, is the best way to keep our hive alive and thriving. 

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