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Ants in my top bar


On today’s inspection I found a small number of small ants in my top bar, most noticeable right where the bars rest on the sides. I think some people call these sugar ants. My syrup feeding jars are located outside the hive at this time.

I read elsewhere in the forum that perhaps coating the legs of the stand with Vaseline would stop the ants from climbing up.

Any further suggestions? Should I do anything about the ants already in there?

Just want to stop a problem before it starts.


If it’s only a small number of ants I generally don’t worry about it. Sugar ants don’t kill healthy honey bee colonies. However, if there are a LOT of sugar ants, eggs, queens, etc., then I’ll brush the ants off and then coat the legs in vaseline. If they still don’t relent, you can use “Tanglefoot” instead of vaseline. It’s MUCH stickier and will definitely stop the ants, but the bees can get stuck and die in it, too.




I am also curious about the ant issue. We’ve had our bees for a little over 3 weeks now. We have an inside feeder which has attracted a few small sugar ants. There doesn’t seem to be a great number of them and as we went with an “eco floor” we haven’t taken any steps to try and remove them just yet, feeling like bees will decide if they feel like the ants are an unwanted presence in the hive, since it’s something that should occur in nature as well. We haven’t decided how much longer we’ll be feeding, but I’m wondering if the ants will still be interested in the hive after the sugar syrup is gone? Any thoughts?


They’ll still be interested after the syrup is gone. There will still be honey and other goodies for them to feed on. Also, they like to live in the shelter of the hive.