ants like sugar.
honey is concentrated sugar, kept outdoors and guarded by bees.
sounds simple, but ants are a constant battle for bees and if not controlled - the bees spend a lot of resources securing their hive from ants. i know bees live in trees and other places where ants are - but i figure if i can help the girls out, they would help me out with abundant honey.
the solution is to create a barrier ants cant cross, thus freeing the bees to do other tasks. the solution i found was empty cat food cans, holding the feet of the redwood hive stand. the cat food can was filled with oil - motor oil.
i know, i know - not too green; but very effective. at the last house, the bee hives were not in my vegetable garden and i honestly didnt worry too much about the oil. the current hives are in the middle of my vegetable garden and i dont want vegetables with hints of penzoil.
at this house its changed. although not a hardcore organic dude, i have made a significant leap in that direction. miracle-gro? not for me. it's dr. earth. yearly fruit tree spraying regimen? nope - only if i need it (so far, havent needed it for 3 years). weed killer? not in the garden.
so i had to find a solution that is effective against ants, but friendly to my garden. thank heaven for diatoms.
diatomaceas earth, is pretty much the skeletal remains of microscopic sea critters. the skeletons are as sharp as glass to bugs - and those that crawl across the barrier - pretty much signed thier death warrant. its like dieing from a thousand cuts; the bugs end up drying up and dying. so instead of cat food containers filled with oil, we have them filled with diatoms and hopefully will have reasonable results on the ants. only time will tell.
its a small step, but certainly a green one. lets hear it for the bee's.