How long can ants survive on honey?

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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Carlevan2840
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:52 pm

How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65606Post Carlevan2840
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:28 pm

I have a queen (what I'm fairly certain is) Lasius Americanus. From the first batch of eggs only one worker hatched so she is being fed and there are now new eggs and larvae. Obviously I'm trying to get the colony a little bigger so I can release them from their tube set up, however it's taking a little while (I'm a newbie). I fed them honey and a couple fruit flies after the first one hatched (which both honey and a fly were readily accepted) but the second fly was there so long it began to get mouldy. Therefore I'm trying to coax them using light (for a day so far) into a clean tube. I don't want to put another fly in until they move to the clean tube. I understand they need protein or at least it's good for them. So...my question is: how long can they survive on just honey? Will that inhibit larvae growth? Thanks!

Hawkeye
Posts: 1052
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65630Post Hawkeye
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:17 am

Carlevan2840 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:28 pm
I have a queen (what I'm fairly certain is) Lasius Americanus. From the first batch of eggs only one worker hatched so she is being fed and there are now new eggs and larvae. Obviously I'm trying to get the colony a little bigger so I can release them from their tube set up, however it's taking a little while (I'm a newbie). I fed them honey and a couple fruit flies after the first one hatched (which both honey and a fly were readily accepted) but the second fly was there so long it began to get mouldy. Therefore I'm trying to coax them using light (for a day so far) into a clean tube. I don't want to put another fly in until they move to the clean tube. I understand they need protein or at least it's good for them. So...my question is: how long can they survive on just honey? Will that inhibit larvae growth? Thanks!
They will be able to sustain themselves for quite a while on just sugars. But especially the queen and the larvae need protein for your colony to grow. Why not take out the fly with a pair of tweezers?

Carlevan2840
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65707Post Carlevan2840
Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:25 pm

I don't hand them in a test tube. They are in clear, rubber tubing. Much thinner than a test tube but but enough for them. Too small to get tweezers in. New question: I'm about to cry. Out of the first generation only one worker and hatched. It died today and no idea why. She was eating fine, taking care of the queen, etc. How long Will a Lasius Americanus worker (one of the tiny first generation) live and...unless one of my larvae/pupa emerge soon, the queen is going to die too isn't she? I started this in early August just to get that far. 😭

Hawkeye
Posts: 1052
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65740Post Hawkeye
Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:13 am

Carlevan2840 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:25 pm
I don't hand them in a test tube. They are in clear, rubber tubing. Much thinner than a test tube but but enough for them. Too small to get tweezers in. New question: I'm about to cry. Out of the first generation only one worker and hatched. It died today and no idea why. She was eating fine, taking care of the queen, etc. How long Will a Lasius Americanus worker (one of the tiny first generation) live and...unless one of my larvae/pupa emerge soon, the queen is going to die too isn't she? I started this in early August just to get that far. 😭
Your queen can eat and drink on her own, so that's one thing less for you to worry about. It's just more efficient if other ants feed her while she is busy laying eggs.
It sound like the setup you have her in is inadequate. There might be top much light, disturbance from you checking in on her, unfavourable temperatures/humidity, a contaminant in the food supply, loads of things.
So I can't tell you what you're doing wrong exactly.

Hawkeye
Posts: 1052
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65741Post Hawkeye
Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:14 am

Oh and the nanitics (first generation worker) are smaller and more frail than their sibling 'normal' workers. Not sure how long their lifespan is.

Rgarcia
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:16 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65758Post Rgarcia
Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:30 am

How long can a queen survive on her own before she lays eggs? I found one back on September 8th and she is still alone.

Hawkeye
Posts: 1052
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65764Post Hawkeye
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:58 pm

Rgarcia wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:30 am
How long can a queen survive on her own before she lays eggs? I found one back on September 8th and she is still alone.
Chances are she isn't fertilised. Does she have ant eggs?

Rgarcia
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:16 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65768Post Rgarcia
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:50 pm

No egg but she tore off her wings.

Hawkeye
Posts: 1052
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65774Post Hawkeye
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:36 pm

Rgarcia wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:50 pm
No egg but she tore off her wings.
Could be a nummer of things:

1 she's prepping or already in hibernation
2 she lacks proteins
3 she might not seem her surroundings as adequate

1 is probably most likely. In which case she won't lay eggs until after she's done hibernating

2 try feeding a bit of cooked egg white

3 might be unlikely since she did produce eggs earlier. Still worth looking into though. Could be temperature or humidity related, or light exposure or stress caused by you checking in on her...

Rgarcia
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:16 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: How long can ants survive on honey?

Post: # 65791Post Rgarcia
Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:37 am

Now when you say try cooked egg whites. would hard boil be good?

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