How Beekeepers Can Put Fire Ants to Work

The Fat Bee Man/Video screen capture

I long ago gave up on my own attempts at beekeeping, but I am still fascinated by these furry little pollinators and how we can work with them for mutual benefit.

From "tough love" beekeeping to top-bar hives, we've shown a fair few "alternative" approaches to keeping bees healthy. But this latest tip is about as simple, and all natural, as you can get.

When hives get severely damaged by wax moths, many keepers either throw out or burn the damaged frames. (Freezing can also be an effective method.) But Don Kuchenmeister of Dixie Bee Supply—aka The Fat Bee Man—has a much simpler method of treament. Simply find yourself some fire ants, lay the infected frame over their nest, and let the fire ants go at it. They'll eat apparently anything that's protein, and leave the wax well alone.

Just be sure to shade the frame with a box, as the sun will melt the wax. And wear some socks and boots if you plan on kicking up a fire ants nest like Don does...

Tags: Bees | Insects | United States

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