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Check out your mason bee homes every now and then, and make sure you do not have a line of ants crawling towards the bees’ nests.  A good way of getting rid of them is to first remove most of the ants bysquashing them, and then have a water spary and then drip at the location where ants are crawling up the structure.  When the ground is wet, ants are discouraged from going in the direction of moist soil.

2 Responses to Ants- watch out!

  • Ron says:

    I have a small 16 chamber house that use the cardboard tubes in. I had a great year this May, I guess it was the unseasonably warm weather. All of my tubes were full up to the ends except one.

    I was watching the bee work on it, she laid an egg in the very front of the tube and was working on plugging it with mud. She never finished the job, so I guess she died somewhere along the way. Soon after, I noticed very small ants going in and out of that tube, I assume they ate whatever egg/pollen was in that chamber at least.

    I’ve since taken all the tubes out, as they were full, and replaced them with new empty tubes. I have another group of tubes that is getting full, so I’m hoping my remaining bees go to work on the new empty tubes.

    I was just wondering if ants are a known predator of Mason Bees, and what can I do about them now that they seem to be hanging around more, even if there is no more food source? Will the Mason Bees defend their hole from the ants? I squish the ants whenever I see them, but I’m hoping they move along somewhere else.

    Thanks,

    Ron

    • Margriet says:

      Ants are attracted to the pollen and nectar inside the nest. Ants scavenge these items for their own offspring. Ants are more likely to find the nest if mason bee homes are hung in a tree.

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