What to Do When Ants Invade the Honey Bucket

Author: Meera, July 6, 2015

My five-gallon honey bucket with the spigot makes it easy for me to fill up a jar of honey for friends or family. For easy access, I keep it on a round table in the kitchen.



A single frame produced eight 16-ounce jars of honey

A single frame produces eight 16-ounce jars of honey




Yesterday morning, I went to refill our own empty jar and noticed ants on the exterior of the bucket. It has a lid on it, but not too tight-fitting, so I held my breath and pulled off the lid.



Removing the lid, I found the ants had infiltrated it and hundreds floated in the honey. Imagine my dismay.



I consulted with my beekeeper neighbor about what to do with the now-unusable honey. Much to my surprise, he said save it. He told me to put it in the freezer (the one specifically used to freeze frames and therefore kill any pests we can’t see on the wax before returning those frames to the hives). So the bucket with the ants went into the freezer I keep on the patio.



My neighbor says the ants will die. The bees can then eat that honey when there isn’t enough pollen around, for example, during the winter. It’s a win-win . . . except for the ants.



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